Haggerty: Five thoughts from Bruins-Panthers


Haggerty: Five thoughts from Bruins-Panthers

SUNRISE, FL Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins down by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of action at the BankAtlantic Center.


1) Tough first period for a Bruins team looking for a break. The Bs play a good, solid period and Tim Thomas looks good enough between the pipes. But allowing a goal on six shots faced still isnt getting it done and there are a lot of high, unaltered shots that are somehow getting through Thomas on the way to the Boston net. He still needs to be better.

2) Perfectly legal hip check on Brad Marchand from Brian Campbell, and the Florida defenseman refuses to drop the gloves with Patrice Bergeron of all people to answer for it. Then Marchand chases after Campbell and gets an unsportsmanlike conduct call when he goes looking for retribution. Marchand needs to play a certain way while also realizing hes not going to get any breaks from the referees. But its pretty weak sauce for Campbell refusing to man up when challenged by Bergeron.

3) Awful, awful call on Shawn Thornton that led to the Bruins goal. Keaton Ellerby basically fell down with Thornton on his back near the side boards and the Bruins enforcer was called for cross-checking. Of course it led to a Florida power play goal after the Bruins had played a decent opening period. Just the way things are breaking for the Bruins right now.

4) Seventh straight game the Bruins have allowed the first goal to their opponents. They cant be successful if theyre constantly chasing after it, and the Panthers are the kind of team that will lock it down once they have a lead.

5) Jordan Caron looks good skating around with Milan Lucic and David Krejci. Good bid for Caron on a drop-back pass from Lucic near the blue line that opened No. 38 up for a big wrist shot. But Jose Theodore was there to make the stop.


1) The Bs fourth line on the ice again for two more goals against. Theyve had an up-and-down year and just havent been as good as they were last season, and tonights another example though its not close to all the Merlot Lines fault.

2) Zdeno Chara needs to quit the first breakout pass through the middle of the ice. One of them handcuffs Gregory Campbell, gets the Bs hemmed into their own zone and turns into a John Madden goal. There were two or three other instances of those passes turning into scoring chances for Florida tonight.

3) Brad Marchand has been effectively bottled up after taking that Brian Campbell hit in the first period. They havent been on the ice for any of the goals allowed, but they also have also only generated four shots on net while KrejciLucicCaron has two shots on net. Not enough offensive chances created by those top two lines.

4) Dennis Seidenberg is getting knocked off the puck left, right and center. Love the German defenseman but he looks as tired as anybody else on the Bruins team after taking a lot of hits and pounding over the last two years.

5) Just no snap from the Bruins. Watch Marco Sturm diving head first into the net to try and get at a Tim Thomas rebound. He was unsuccessful, but nobody on the Bruins is playing with that kind of bounce or emotional urgency.

After beating Patriots, Rex Ryan prepares for new old challenge with Tom Brady


After beating Patriots, Rex Ryan prepares for new old challenge with Tom Brady

After four wins in a row, Rex Ryan’s employment status had been taken off life support in Buffalo and was -- almost -- good as new.
But a Sunday toe-stub in Miami in which Buffalo suffered a 28-25 loss to the Dolphins set the Bills back a bit. Now, instead of hosting the Patriots this Sunday with a chance to secure a season sweep and move into a first-place tie in the AFC East, Buffalo’s back there at 4-3 just trying to get close.
“Sure we have to learn from things, there’s no question about it, but the more we dwell on (the loss to Miami), it doesn’t help us. We’ve got a bigger task in front of us,” said Ryan.
There is a myriad of differences between Ryan and Bill Belichick but one of the starkest is Ryan’s inability to treat ‘em all the same.
While Belichick will acknowledge that some games carry more import than others -- division games, conference games, etc -- he’s not going to allow his team to poke its head up and look down the road at what’s coming next.
Ryan lets it all hang right out there.
“I don’t know how much more important it could be than this one,” Ryan said when asked about Sunday’s matchup with the 6-1 Pats. “I mean, I could lie to you and say that it’s not important, but yeah, this is a critical game for us. There’s no doubt about it. Does it break your season if you lose? I hope I don’t have to worry about that. We’ve got to find a way to win this game.”
The Bills reveled modestly after their 16-0 win at Foxboro when Jacoby Brissett scuffled in the final week of Tom Brady’s suspension. The gloating was mild. Ryan acknowledged plainly that shutting out the Patriots without Brady wasn’t really shutting out the Patriots.
But there’s no question that game at the start of this month was one the Bills approached with a helluva lot more swagger than normal. The “Where’s your big brother now?” vibe of the pregame scuffle in which the Bills jostled rookies Brissett and Malcolm Mitchell as the two players took the same sideline jog Brady and the Patriots quarterbacks have done at Gillette for a decade set the tone.
And then the Bills went out and had their way. Asked about that scuffle, which resulted in fines for some Jets players, Ryan said, “Well, these two teams don’t like each other. There’s no question about that, but I don’t think there was a real fight, you know? A real fight would be outside in the parking lot. You know what I mean? Then you’ve really got something to write about, but that thing was hardly a fight, I think.”
The blanking and the bullying may be talking points in Foxboro this week but they probably won’t rallying cries. Odd as it sounds, the Patriots don’t merely compete against opponents when they play but measure the day’s success on how well they performed relative to perfection. You could see after the 11-point win in Pittsburgh that there was dissatisfaction on both sides of the ball with how things went.
That fact alone will make it an arduous week of practice as much as the reality that the Patriots are playing the team right behind them in the division.
Ryan knows it’s a much different team he’ll face Sunday.
“It’s not about validating ourselves,” he said. “We’ve just got to find a way to win. In regards to who we’re playing, you know, [Brady] looks great. He’s got those two great tight ends -- they’re big. They’ve still got [Julian] Edelman out there. They’ve got everybody they had out there last time, but they’ve got their player back. So we know the challenge in front of us.”


Tuesday, Oct. 25: Carlo for Calder?


Tuesday, Oct. 25: Carlo for Calder?

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while having watched the Curious George Halloween special about eight times over the last three or four days thanks to my three-year-old son.

*Bob McKenzie with a great story in former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore talking a shift as an Uber driver as his hockey work has dried up.

*Alex Radulov is earning some early respect for his play from his Habs teammates and the fickle Canadiens fans, but let’s see how the whole season plays out for the notoriously combustible Russian winger.

*Zach Werenski has taken an early lead among his NHL rookie peers for the Calder Trophy, but it looks like it’s going to be a crowded field this year. Just a couple of weeks in, Brandon Carlo certainly looks like he could be in the conversation as well.

*Pioneering female goaltender Shannon Szabados has been cut from the Peoria team in the Southern Pro League.

*The Chicago Blackhawks have plenty of advice for the Chicago Cubs about playing in the big games as the Cubbies get ready for their World Series close-up.

*A more mature David Perron is having greater success the second time around with the St. Louis Blues while contributing in many different areas.

*For something completely different: a really fun story of a Hollywood Reporter contributor recording the reactions of her 7-year-old son watching Empire Strikes Back for the first time. I was around the same age when Empire came out, so I’m sure my reactions were pretty similar to his at different points in the movie.