Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Sabres


Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Sabres

Here are 15 thoughts from the game with the Bruins edging the Sabres by a 3-1 score after 60 minutes at TD Garden, and winning their first set of back-to-back games in nearly two months.


1) Slow-motion glove hand from Tim Thomas on a Jason Pominville bomb from the right face-off circle that admittedly had some steam on it. But thats a goal Thomas needs to find some way to stop when the Bruins have dominated the period and outshot the Sabres by a 13-6 margin. It appears that playing seven games in a row on top of last years workload and short offseason has started to really slow Thomas down.

2) Bruins dominated face-off circle by a 13-6 margin and fired off 13 shots on net, but couldnt get anything Jhonas Enroth. Not enough traffic in front of the diminutive goaltender as the Bruins dont have their blue collars on tonight.

3) The Sabres have blocked seven shots as opposed to three from the Bruins. Time for the Bs to start playing with a little more desperation.

4) Good scrappy efforts from the Sabres, who are pushing back with the Bruins and fighting a bigger, stronger team. Mike Weber didnt back down from an encounter with Milan Lucic in front of the net and Nate Gerbe taking puck hard to the net despite getting leveled by Johnny Boychuk.

5) Six giveaways by the Bruins in the first period including a pair by Tyler Seguin. The Bs need to take much better care of the puck.


1) Some much-needed offensive contributions from the fourth line there. Shawn Thornton hops all over a bad Christian Ehrhoff pass and tees up a slapshot that Gregory Campbell tips past Jhonas Enroth for Bostons first goal of the game. It looked like more offensive constipation for the Bs when Dennis Seidenbergs shot slammed a right post earlier, but they were finally able to break through.

2) Claude Julien makes a move that seemed to employ a lot of logic: he slid Jordan Caron up on the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand and moved Brian Rolston with Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot. Makes sense given Carons elevated play as of late.

3) A great stretch pass from Joe Corvo to Tyler Seguin for a breakaway that Enroth was able to turn away with a glove hand. It was a good example of Corvos offensive skills and further proof that the Bs defenseman has turned it around in the last few days. With defensemen depth finally a reality it appears that Corvo has stepped up his game.

4) The Bruins have won 28 out of 40 face-off attempts today and are working the Sabres in the draw. Patrice Bergeron is leading the way by winning 15 of his 19 face-off attempts.

5) Solid 8:52 of ice time for Mike Mottau so far with no real defensive breakdowns or issues around the net.


1) Special couple of shifts by Johnny Boychuk showing exactly why he earned that three year contract extension with the Bruins. He punished Thomas Vanek with a hit when the Buffalo forwards head was down and then scored the game-winning goal when he fired a searing slapshot through three Sabres defenders and into the top corner of the net.

2) When the Bruins have good energy in their legs they score in bunches and demoralize teams with the quick strike attack, and they did that in the third period to the Sabres. They followed up Boychuks goal with a Milan Lucic-to-David Krejci goal on a 2-on-1 immediately afterward to step down on the stunned Sabres. Krejci, Seguin and Lucic have combined for 20 points in their five games together.

3) Brad Marchand took a shot from Tyler Myers and skated off the ice in serious pain midway through the third period. He left the stick out on the ice as he skated hunched over toward the bench. Didnt see him back on the ice afterward.

4) Good job by Tim Thomas locking things down after giving up a tough goal at the end of the first period.

5) Jordan Caron notched an assist on Johnny Boychuks goal and now has six points in his last three games.

ESPN’s Mortensen: Deflategate coverage led to death threats


ESPN’s Mortensen: Deflategate coverage led to death threats

In an expansive profile on The Ringer.com, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says he and his wife were subjected to death threats because of Mortensen’s Deflategate coverage.

After the Patriots’ AFC Championship Game victory in January 2015, Mortensen tweeted information he said he received from a source that has long since been proven incorrect. The info - that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs in the game were underinflated by 2 pounds - remained uncorrected on Twitter and in an ESPN.com story for more than six months.  

The controversy over Mortensen’s reporting drew the ire of Patriots fans, many of whom blamed the tweet and his story for fanning the flames of what eventually led to a four-game suspension for Tom Brady and a $1 million fine and loss of draft picks for the Patriots. 

Mortensen, who has subsequently undergone treatment for cancer, told The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis that the threats led him to tell his wife Micki that he didn’t want her traveling with him from their home in Arkansas to Bristol, Connecticut when he did studio work for ESPN. 

“What bothered me is we’re in an era where if your wife goes onto social media, she basically reads that they want you to die,” Mortensen said. “Even after I got cancer, I got some death wishes.”

More from the Ringer story:

“My job is to protect her,” he said. When Mort himself came to Bristol, he behaved like someone who was living under a public threat. He went straight from the ESPN studio to his home, avoiding restaurants and rarely appearing in public.

Mortensen said after his initial tweet, a second source, with whom he had a better relationship, told him to used a broader description of the footballs, i.e. call them “significantly underinflated.”  Mortensen now acknowledges that information should have given him pause.

“That should have raised the journalist in me to a higher level,” he told the Ringer. “I’ve got to ask some more questions here. What are we talking about, 2 pounds under? But, no, I got to get on TV.”

Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls


Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls

Tonight’s pregame number is 133. That’s the total number of made 3-point field goals made last season by the players starting for the Bulls tonight. Whatever the Bulls reasons for signing Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade were this offseason, floor spacing was not one of them.

Wade’s career mark of 28.4 percent from distance is the third-worst percentage among active players with 600+ career attempts, while Rondo’s 28.9 career 3-pt FG% is seventh worst. And, for what it’s worth, the new-look Bulls shot 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (21st in the NBA) this preseason, while hitting 7.7 3-pointers per game. 

Despite allowing 15 3’s last night vs the Nets, perimeter defense should once again be a strength for the Celtics. Last season, the Celtics were fourth in the NBA with an opponent 3-pt FG% of 33.6. They were 38-15 when holding opponents to eight or fewer 3’s. 

With the NBA continuing to trend towards more 3-point shooting, it will be interesting to see how Fred Hoiberg’s offense looks this season, and especially tonight vs the Celtics.