Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Senators

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Senators

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Senators tied up at 1-1 after the first 20 minutes of play at TD Garden.

1)Plenty of offensive energy that period for the Bruins with some very good saves by Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson. Twelve shots on net, and many of them from Bruins players in exactly the spots they wanted to take them. Benoit Pouliot also rang a shot off the right post after an arms-and-legs move to dangle through a Senators defender.

2)Shawn Thornton with one of his best fights of the year pounding Chris Neil with a barrage of right-handed bombs, but it appears that it came at a price. Thornton with some serious bags of ice on his right hand before exiting midway through his five minutes into the penalty box with a trip straight to the dressing room. It looks like his right hand might be getting treated.

3)Bruins power play looked very good in the first period. Both units playing with energy and quick passing that helped set up Zdeno Charas power play strike through a Milan Lucic screen. The score pulls Chara into a tie with Nathan Horton for the team lead with six power play strikes this year.

4)Three shots on net in 7:14 for Brad Marchand, who also drew the penalty that led to Charas power play goal by taking it hard to the net. A beauty of a saucer pass from Tyler Seguin set the whole thing up for Marchand.

5) Colin Greening is turning into one heck of a player for the Ottawa Senators. It was his second effort that allowed him to pop the rebound of his own shot past Tim Thomas. Greening and Daniel Alfredsson both lead the Senators with three shots on net apiece.

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Senators by a 3-2 score after the first 40 minutes of play at TD Garden.

1)Five shots in the second for the Bruins as they were badly outplayed by Ottawa in all phases of the game. Its funny. The second period has actually been Bostons weakest period all season long and that was the case again tonight.

2)Despite their weak second period, Milan Lucic was able to bury a sizzling wrist shot from the slot with 46 seconds left in the period to make it a 3-2 game headed into the third period. Thats a gigantic goal for the Bruins after getting outplayed for most of the 20 minutes and it really shows some of Ottawas immaturity still shining through.

3)Despite the big bag of ice and repairs in the first period after his fight with Chris Neil, Shawn Thornton was out there taking regular shifts with his fourth line in the second. That NHL enforcer thing is a tough gig, man.

4)A big mistake by Zdeno Chara trying to step up into a play that led to a 2-on-1 and Erik Karlssons goal in the second period to give Ottawa their current lead. Of all the players on the ice for the Bruins, Chara and Tim Thomas have looked the weakest after their weekend All-Star appearances.

5)Soft goals from Tim Thomas in his first game back from the break. Strange to see given his normal domination of Ottawa, but perhaps Thomas was a little distracted prior to the game tonight wondering what kind of reception hed receive.

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins taking down the Senators by a 4-3 score after 60 minutes of intense Northeast Division play at TD Garden.

1)Dennis Seidenberg with the rare 90-foot goal when he fired a puck from the center ice face-off dot that skimmed off the ice and beat Craig Anderson for the game-winner. Third period win for Bruins shows their poiseexperience and make it clear Ottawa still has some growing up to do before theyre for real.

2)Six points and a pair of goals from the Bs defensemen crew tonight. The goal from Seidenberg was a big one.

3)Nine shots on goal for the Seguin, Marchand and Bergeron line, though they were on the ice for a pair of goals against as well. A very mixed bag night for them.

4)Four hits from Jared Cowen, who literally tossed Dennis Seidenberg off his skates during a battle in the corner. Hes another impressive young player for the Senators along with Colin Greening.

5)Two power play goals for the Bruins including 5-foot-8, 180-pound Brad Marchand beating out 6-foot-3, 220-pound Chris Phillips for a rebound in front of the net that ended up being the game-tying goal. Thats simple Little Ball of Hate desire winning out in a one-on-one battle.

Which players fill Celtics Top 5 draft needs?

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Which players fill Celtics Top 5 draft needs?

BOSTON – When it comes to the NBA Draft, nobody has the flexibility to address a need the way the Celtics can this year.
 
If you are a draft-eligible player expected to be among the 60 names called next month, you are within the Celtics’ reach of being drafted.
 
That’s what having eight draft picks (three in the first round and five in the second) can do for you.
 
And while the Celtics have lots of needs, here’s a look at five specifically that they can address through the draft, and the best players to fill those voids.
 
5. Undervalued talent: Marquese Chriss
Getting players whose talent exceeds where they are drafted is certainly something the Celtics would love to do in a year when they have so many picks. Marquese Chriss of Washington could be that player. He’s a 6-9 forward who in this small-ball era in the NBA, can play both forward positions and have a matchup advantage at both spots. He’s targeted to be selected in the middle of the first round which makes him a prime target of the Celtics who could tab him with their second, first-round selection which will be the 16th overall pick.
 
 
4. Rim Protection
You have to give the Celtics props for having a defense that ranked 4th in the NBA despite no legit rim protector other than 6-9 Amir Johnson. As good as Johnson was, the Celtics need to add at least another player or two with rim protection as their strength. Enter Michigan State’s Deyonta Davis. He’s limited offensively in terms of what he can do, but his knack for blocking/altering shots, lateral quickness, vertical leap and overall strength makes him a force in the middle. He too is a player Boston has to give some thought to selecting if he’s still on the board (he’s considered a possible late-lottery pick) when it’s time for the Celtics to choose at No. 16.
 
 
3. Defensive versatility
One of the reasons Boston’s defense was so good this season was because of its ability to make defensive switches and it not create huge mismatches. Having players with the talent and skill to defend multiple positions will remain something the Celtics will also value on draft night. That’s why Jaylen Brown of Cal could be in the mix depending on where the pick Boston gets from Brooklyn, eventually falls. If it’s outside of the top-4, Brown becomes a viable possibility. He gets props for his strength and ability to use it as a means of scoring. But NBA teams are just as excited about his potential as a defender, already possessing an NBA-ready body with the tools to potentially defend all three perimeter positions.
 
2. Wing scoring
The Celtics ranked 11th in 3-pointers taken per game (26.1) but only 28th in 3-point percentage (.335) which shows that they were getting plenty of long-range shots but unable to make them with any consistency. Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield could change all that. He was hands-down the best shooter in college basketball this past season. And with him being a senior, he’s more likely to come in and make an immediate impact than many of his younger draft brethren who are judged more on potential than proven work. If the Celtics wind up with a top-3 pick, Hield would be a bit of a stretch. But if Boston is on the clock with the No. 4, 5 or 6th pick, he should be on their short list of possible targets.
 
 
1. Superstar potential
The best shot Boston has of landing that superstar they’ve longed for, is to land the top overall pick. And with that pick, there’s a growing consensus that Duke’s Brandon Ingram should be that guy rather than LSU’s Ben Simmons. Ingram has a game that in many ways is reminiscent to a young Kevin Durant. But at this stage, Ingram is a better 3-point shooter (he shot 41 percent on 3s in his lone season at Duke) which is one of the many areas Boston could use a boost through the draft.
 
 

Ainge: McHale's clothesline on Rambis was 'sweet'

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Ainge: McHale's clothesline on Rambis was 'sweet'

If you know anything about basketball in the 1980s and early 1990s, you know it was a physical game. And in the playoffs, that physicality multiplied.

The Boston Celtics were no exception to that. There are countless highlights of Celtics players getting into it with their opponents, but perhaps the most famous incident was when Kevin McHale clothelined the Lakers' Kurt Rambis in Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was a member of that team, and discussed that play on Thursday morning with the guys from the Toucher and Rich Show.

“I remember that we were at shootaround the morning of the Kevin McHale / Kurt Rambis clothesline incident,” Ainge said. “They had just beat us by 30 . . . it was Hollywood showtime Lakers all the way and we were humiliated. We came to practice the next day and we had some guys chirping about that, like, ‘We have to take some hard fouls. We cannot let these guys fast break over us and dunk on us in transition. We have to take some hard fouls.’ And I said to the whole team, I like screamed at them, I said, ‘Hey listen, I’m booed in every arena in this league because I’m the only guy who takes hard fouls. I need some of you guys to take some hard fouls. And sure enough Kevin clothelined Kurt Rambis and that was sweet.”