Haggerty: Ten thoughts from Bruins-Capitals


Haggerty: Ten thoughts from Bruins-Capitals

WASHINGTON DC Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Washington Capitals by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of play at the Verizon Center.

1)Once again the Bruins are settling for outside perimeter shots or firing off the first available chance rather than waiting things out and creating plays. Tyler Seguin had a chance to step in and make a move on Braden Holtby earlier in the period, but instead opted for the wrister from the circle. Likewise Milan Lucic had Rich Peverley on a 2-on-1 odd-man rush and floated an easy wrist shot at Holtby rather than making a play. Not a lot of offensive confidence for the Bruins right now.

2) Claude Julien switching things around with the lines: he put David Krejci together with Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin, and had Patrice Bergeron skating with Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley as the Bs look for a winning combination. Didnt appear to work and I dont love Marchand and Bergeron getting split up. Those two have all kinds of chemistry.

3)Bruins also still playing something between croquet and tiddly winks in the first period. Its been nice, polite, cordial hockey that anybody watching the PanthersDevils series probably recognizes. Nicklas Backstrom got into Milan Lucics kitchen and cross-checked him high at the end of the first period, so perhaps that will stir No. 17 into something closer to nastiness. Lucic hasnt been a presence in this series at all.

4)Capitals only blocked five shots that period, but once again they were able to keep the Bruins well to the perimeter when shooting the puck.

5)One thing Braden Holtby should have been called on: throwing his stick at a puck as Daniel Paille was moving in on a long rebound during a scrambling moment in the first period. It should have been a penalty shot as it appeared Holtby purposely threw his stick out at the puck. Instead there was no call.

WASHINGTON DC Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Capitals tied at a 2-2 score after the first 40 minutes of play at the Verizon Center.

1) Finally some offense from the Bruins. Rich Peverley sneaks a wrist shot past Brad Holtby that glances off his glove and Daniel Paille gets to a rebound while camped out in front of the net. Perfect example of how the Bruins need to do their damage: move the puck quickly to get a clean shot for the defenseman, and then get a forward with courage to stand in front of the net. Paille was rewarded with his first goal of the playoffs and the score is tied.

2)Milan Lucic finally getting aggravated. Causes a scrum with Nicklas Backstrom at the end of the first period and then throws Brooks Laich down before a face-off in the second period. Hes making himself a presence without putting his team in the bad spot short-handed. Exactly the way it should be done for a player that sets the emotional tone for his teammates.

3)The Bruins have as many blocked shots as the Capitals tonight (12) that, friends, is progress for Boston and regression for Washington.

4)Have to think Johnny Boychuk is banged up given the way that hes playing out there. Looks labored with his skating and his decision-making is questionable at best, but that all goes back to skating and moving the puck with confidence. Not doing any of these things and perhaps thats because the knee isnt quite right. Im sure well never know until the playoffs are over.

5)No shots on net and no factor from Brad Marchand right now in 11:22 of ice time. Hasnt been a presence at all.

Saturday, Oct. 1: Vesey's New York state of mind


Saturday, Oct. 1: Vesey's New York state of mind

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while gearing up for Big Papi weekend.

*A “behind-the-scenes” look as Jimmy Vesey was sold on the New York Rangers, but there’s not too much detail about the pitches from the other teams. Feels pretty apparent at this point that Vesey wanted to live, and work, in New York City.

*Damien Cox says that the World Cup of Hockey better get it right the next time, or else…or else what, Damien? You’re going to block them on Twitter?

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Patrick Kane, Erik Karlsson and P.K. Subban making their preseason debuts on Saturday. David Backes and David Pastrnak will play their first preseason games for the Bruins as well.  

*It’s a complicated, strange story with Vladimir Sobotka, the KHL and the contract he seemingly can’t get out of to again play for the St. Louis Blues.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is ready to get back to work with the Arizona Coyotes after his World Cup experience.

*San Jose Sharks prospect Timo Meier is out for the next month with mono, which is definitely worse timing than Zach Senyshyn getting hit with the mononucleosis bomb over the summer.

*A quick look at the Philadelphia Flyers in advance of their preseason meeting with the Black and Gold tonight, which won’t be televised.

*For something completely different: there will be some pretty funky stuff happening on The Walking Dead this season.



Claude Julien on David Ortiz: 'Finishing in style, you don't see that very often'

Claude Julien on David Ortiz: 'Finishing in style, you don't see that very often'

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It hasn’t been difficult to spot Claude Julien randomly at Fenway Park on a nice summer night in Boston over the past ten years. The Bruins coach doesn’t hide his affection for the Old Towne Team. 

So, Julien didn’t waste much time before sharing his thoughts on the final season for David Ortiz and the celebration of his Hall of Fame-worthy career that’s going on at the Fens this weekend.

It might have been a chore when the rest of the Team Canada coaching staff was watching the Toronto Blue Jackets during the World Cup of Hockey, but Julien never strayed too far away from his Red Stockings.

“He’s finishing in style, and you don’t see that very often,” said Claude Julien of Big Papi, who was sitting with numbers of .316 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI that border on the ridiculous at 40 years old. 

“A lot of times when people retire the game has caught up to them big time. Not him. He doesn’t seem to have missed a beat here. I’m pretty impressed with how he’s handled this year, and what he’s done. If I’m correct he just hit the home run last night for the game-winner.

“But as you know I was in Blue Jays land for about two weeks, so I had to keep a low profile. They were watching the Blue Jays and I’m Canadian too...but I was watching the Red Sox. So, it was healthy competition for our [World Cup] coaching staff.”

The most intriguing part about all is that the best is still yet to come for Ortiz in his farewell tour as he gets one more chance to clutch up in the postseason. It'll give Julien more to marvel at over the next few weeks while showing again why Big Papi will go down as the greatest clutch hitter in the history of Major League Baseball.