Haggerty: Ten thoughts from Bruins-Lightning

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Haggerty: Ten thoughts from Bruins-Lightning

TAMPA BAY Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 4-0 train-wreck after the first 20 minutes of play at the Tampa Times Forum. Ouch.

1)Three goals allowed by Marty Turco on six shots and he was all done. He looked shaky from the start when he lost his stick during the first opening flurry and was beaten by a puck deflected off Tom Pyatts skate in front of the net. He didnt cover up on the second goal when he had the chance and that turned into a Nate Thompson goal into an open net. Two very goofy, bad goals allowed right off the bat. Not what the Bruins were looking for and that makes it very difficult to rest Tim Thomas like they want to. He has now played in 10 straight games. First goal shouldnt have been overturned in my humble opinion as Pyatt appeared to move his skate toward the net to guide the puck in. But that had nothing to do with the collapse that followed.

2)The Bruins havent lost three in a row since back in October during their initial hangover phase, but it looks like thats going to happen again tonight. With the Ottawa Senators again idle the Bruins are losing another game in hand and could wake up tomorrow only two points ahead of the Ottawa Senators with just one game in hand. Stuff just got real for the Bs.

3)Worst start the Bruins have had this season and the fourth time in the last six games theyve fallen down by at least two goals in the first period. Totally inexcusable for a team that doesnt seem to feel any urgency right now, or seem to be taking the final month of the season very seriously.

4)The third goal was a power play goal, but a complete blown play by the Bs penalty kill allowing Ryan Shannon to get behind Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Dennis Seidenberg to beat Marty Turco once more. The Bruins just arent moving at the same speed as the teams that theyre playing against and its more evidence this is a team without much bounce and energy.

5)Shawn Thornton at least doing his job and pounding Mike Commodore toward the end of the first period. The Bruins havent shown enough life in instances like that lately, and No. 22 is one of the only players thats consistently bringing it on a nightly basis.

TAMPA BAY Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 5-0 train-wreck after the first 40 minutes of play at the Tampa Times Forum. Ouch.

1)The Bruins outshot the Lightning 15-3 in the second period, but couldnt crack the scoreboard. So theyve got that going for them.

2)After giving up another weak goal to Steven Stamkos, Marty Turco was tossed back into the game in place of Tim Thomas. That basically wipes out the desired effect to give Thomas his needed rest, but at least they decided to leave Turco out for the remainder of a now-meaningless game.

3) Milan Lucic taking the puck hard to the net, playing with some pride and intensity and seemingly one of the few guys dressed in Black and Gold taking things seriously.

4)The Bruins will drop to 1-10-1 in the last 12 games that Trent Whitfield has played in including the playoffs if they cant come back in the third period. So its as good as done.

5) Ill bet Patrice Bergeron is glad he swallowed a whole bowl full of anti-inflammatories to come back for this one. This team isnt the same Bruins team that won last season due to fatigue, injuries and satisfaction from last years accomplishments. Its a debilitating cocktail.

Patriots making contract statements with OTA absences?

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Patriots making contract statements with OTA absences?

Malcolm Butler was one of many not spotted during OTAs on Thursday when the media got a looksee at one of the practices.

Butler wasn’t the only one. But he did stand out as a missing player who hadn’t (to my knowledge) had a surgery but did have a contract that needs addressing. Another one? Rob Gronkowski. If we really want to extend it out, throw in Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan.

This is the point where it’s important to point out that these workouts are voluntary – VAW-LUN-TERR-EEEE! Players don’t have to be there. Additionally, I’m not even sure Butler or Gronkowski (or Ryan and Harmon) weren’t at the facility. All I know is they weren’t on the field. And, per usual, nobody’s tipping his hand as to why.

But we do have this, relative to Butler. ESPN’s Mike Reiss wrote Sunday that he “wouldn’t be surprised if it was related to his contract status.” Reiss said that Butler “told teammates and friends he plans to push for an adjustment to his contract before the 2016 season, and staying off the field in voluntary workouts would be a decision that limits injury risk and also could be viewed as a statement to the organization that he's unhappy with the status quo and/or the movement/specifics of contract talks.”

In the same vein, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gronkowski opted out as well for the same reason, especially since he threw out a tweet that signaled dissatisfaction with his pact in March.

But in terms of a statement, not going to OTAs is more of a throat-clearing than a noisy proclamation.

Not to minimize the move if Butler, Gronkowski or anybody else is actually staying away because of business. The Patriots usually enjoy almost perfect OTA attendance. Also, there hasn’t been much contract strife around here for the past five seasons.

Money matters were an annual issue for the Patriots from about 2003 through 2010. Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law, Richard Seymour, Rodney Harrison, Ty Warren, Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork, Randy Moss, Adam Vinatieri, Mike Vrabel and – quietly – Tom Brady all had their contract dances back then. But the only one that got hairy in the recent past was Wes Welker.

It’s still too soon to know if any of these will get contentious. When will we know? When either a player or his agent spouts off. Or, when someone’s a no-show at mandatory minicamp beginning June 7.

That would amount to a shot across the bow. Of all the players likely to take that shot, Butler seems a reasonable bet. His base pay this season is $600K after a Pro Bowl campaign in 2015 that saw him check the opposition’s best wideout on a weekly basis. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of the year. He deserves longer-term security than he currently has. Gronkowski has a lot less to kick about. He may make less than lesser players, but he also was the league’s highest paid tight end when he was missing scads of games due to injury.

After Butler, Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower would figure to have the strongest cases to want new deals and want them snappy. Ryan and Harmon would be right behind those two. Then Jabaal Sheard.

Sheard, Hightower and Collins were all on the field Thursday. 

Can the Patriots get all these guys reupped? Will they even try? How do they have them prioritized? If the guy who howls loudest gets to the front of the line, the time to make some noise is close.

But we have yet to hear any of these players loud and clear. 

Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia and Bogaerts Stay hot

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Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia and Bogaerts Stay hot

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 5-3 win over the Blue Jays:

 

QUOTES

 

* “I benefited from good defensive plays and hard hit balls at people and guys just making plays. Whether you feel good or not you have to have good things happen out there on that field.” David Price said on his successful start against Toronto.

 

* “He woke up this morning more sore than when he left here last night . . . Didn’t want to push it. We’re hopeful he’ll back in the lineup tomorrow.” Farrell on David Ortiz being a late scratch prior to Sunday’s game.

 

* “It’s always great to avoid a sweep . . . We battled hard the whole game and had great at-bats the whole game.” Mookie Betts said on winning the final game of the series against Toronto in a postgame interview with NESN.

 

* “On a day when we were thin with the amount of usage we’ve had, Clay stepped in.” John Farrell said on Clay Buchholz’s relief appearance for Boston in the 10th inning.

 

* "It definitely felt a little different . . . Got to help the team any way I can . . . Glad I could contribute today . . . All in all it's sort of a learining experience for me and I'm sure I'll get better at it as we go." Clay Buchholz said on his first relief appearance of the season for the Red Sox out of the bullpen.

 

 

NOTES

 

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 22 games in his 1-6 performance.

 

* Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to six games with an RBI single in the sixth. Pedroia has also hit safely in 23-straight games against Toronto

 

* Clay Buchholz made only his third career appearance as a reliever for the Red Sox, striking out one and allowing no runs in the tenth. His last relief appearance came on 8/17/08.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Dustin Pedroia

 

The second baseman continues to dominate the Blue Jays, finishing 2-6 with the game-winning double.

 

2) David Price

 

Boston’s ace answered the call in his most important start as a member of the Red Sox, even though he didn’t get the win he only gave up two earned runs off five hits and three walks

 

3) Mookie Betts

 

Entering the game with one hit in his last 20 at-bats, Betts went 2-4 with two walks, scoring two runs.