Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Devils

646750.jpg

Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Devils

NEWARK Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the New Jersey Devils by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes at the Prudential Center.

1)The Petr Sykora score at the end of the first period gives the David KrejciNathan HortonMilan Lucic six goals allowed in their last three games. Thats some serious defensive breakdowns and once again the forwards were running around in the D zone off the face-off rather than covering Sykora. Dennis Seidenberg also lot the battle to Dainius Zubrus behind the net after Krejci won the face-off, so there is plenty of blame to go around. But where theres smoke there is definitely fire.

2) Bruins are averaging just six shots in each of their last three first periods, and thats not enough offensive push or forceful oomph from the Bruins. Those poor starts just arent setting a good tone.

3)Credit Gregory Campbell for trying to spark his team with a bout against young Brad Mills midway through the first while it was still a scoreless game. The fourth liner recognizes that his teammates are emotionally bereft right now, but it looks right now like his efforts were in vain.

4)Two shots on net for Nathan Horton and one good scoring chance turned away by Martin Brodeur. Say this about Horton: hes getting more aggressive in the offensive end and the Bs need that.

5) No response to Cam Janssen when he leveled Andrew Ference in the corner several beats after the puck had left his stick on an outlet pass. Ference got up and barked at the nearest ref when nothing was called, and there was no response from anybody in Black and Gold. Not a good sign when theyre letting their teammates get pushed around.

NEWARK Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the New Jersey Devils by a 1-0 score after the first 40 minutes at the Prudential Center.

1)Twelve shots through two periods just isnt getting it done offensively. Even if you include Benoit Pouliot ringing a shot off the crossbar the Bruins arent consistently generating enough time of possession or chances in the offensive zone.

2)Tim Thomas is pretty clearly sensing that his defenseman are struggling right now, and is way, way out of the net much more than his normally adventurous self. His glove save of David Clarkson on the rebound of a Kurtis Foster shot was a beauty, but he was once again way, way out of the net. Twenty-two saves for Thomas tonight in a scrambling, stand on his head effort.

3)Three hits and a shot on net in 11:37 of ice time for Milan Lucic and he put together some aggressive, battling shifts in the second period to help lift up his team. But not enough of his teammates can sustain it shift after shift.

4)Two of the three best offensive chances for the Bs generated by the third line tonight: Benoit Pouliot hitting a crossbar and Chris Kelly unable to squeeze off a quality backhander from a nice Rich Peverley pass in the first. But that means there wasnt enough being generated by the top two lines.

5)Four shots on net and a goal for Petr Sykora tonight. One of the best players on the ice. How old is this guy anyway because it appears that he bathes in the Fountain of Youth?

NEWARK Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins upending the Devils by a 3-1 score after 60 minutes of play at the Prudential Center.

1)Three goals in less than five minutes in the third period, and the Bs have once again reclaimed their third period domain. Theyve outshot the Devils 11-5 and outscored them 3-0 after getting outscored 6-2 over the last three games in third periods heading into tonight.

2)Third period tone was set by Zdeno Chara dumping Dainius Zubrus in the opening seconds of the stanza in front of the benches. That move by the Bs captain seemed to indicate to the rest of the players it was time to get back to the Bruins way of doing things, and his teammates followed.

3) Gordie Howe Hat trick for Gregory Campbell capped off by the third period goal. Very deserving after Campbell dropped the gloves trying to spark his flat-lining teammates in the first period.

4)Shawn Thornton with a pair of big assists in a game that was led in many ways by the third and fourth line. The return of Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand almost immediately shows off Bostons depth again.

5) Brad Marchand with a little bit of rust on his game tonight. Hes fumbling with pucks and having a difficult time maintaining possessiontiming with his linemates, but that shouldnt last very long.

Bulls trade Butler to Timberwolves in blockbuster draft-night trade

Bulls trade Butler to Timberwolves in blockbuster draft-night trade

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ever since Tom Thibodeau took over in Minnesota last summer, a reunion with Chicago Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler seemed destined to happen.

For the coach that desperately wanted a defensive-minded veteran to set the tone for a talented young roster, and for the player who only truly realized what he had in that hard-driving leader after he was gone.

"It's been something that over a prolonged period of time there have been different moments where he's had to consider it and think about it," Butler's agent, Bernie Lee, told The Associated Press. "In some ways it feels like it was spoken into reality."

In the blockbuster move of draft night, the Bulls traded Butler and the 16th overall pick Thursday night to the Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 overall pick as the Wolves try to finally put an end to a 13-year playoff drought.

The trade brings together Butler and Wolves coach and president Thibodeau, who coached the Bulls for five seasons before being fired in 2015. Thibodeau helped Butler become an All-NBA performer and earn a $95 million contract and Butler helped Thibodeau instill the brass-knuckle mentality into those Bulls teams.

"The longer you are with somebody, the more deposits you have with each other, the trust is there," Thibodeau said. "You're not afraid to tell them the truth. So I think I know him well. I know the things that are important to him. I know he wants to win. And he wants to win big."

Now they're together again, trying to lead a franchise that has not made the playoffs since 2004.

"It's one of those moments where the excitement of tonight has to carry forward to the work that has to come," Lee said. "And if it does, it will really be a beautiful thing to see."

The Wolves paid a big price: Besides surrendering the lottery pick, they gave up a rising star in LaVine, who is coming off of a torn ACL and Dunn, last year's No. 5 overall pick. They were among the youngest teams in the league last season, cast as a team that could be a force once all of their pups grew up.

After a disappointing first season overseeing the operation, Thibodeau grabbed a fully grown pit bull to toughen the team up.

Butler played for Thibodeau for four seasons in Chicago, developing from an unheralded, late-first round draft pick into a perennial All-Star. The two strong-willed workaholics clashed on occasion during their time together and Butler said during the Olympics in Rio last summer that it was "love-hate" relationship.

But he also acknowledged that his appreciation for Thibodeau's hard-driving style increased as time went on, especially when the Bulls struggled in their first season under the more player-friendly Fred Hoiberg.

"They've come by their relationship honestly," Lee said. "They worked through a period to where they really came to learn what the other is about. ... They have a basis to work from, but things have changed and they've changed and adapted. They will take the starting point that they have, but they have to build on it."

The Wolves drafted Arizona sharpshooter Lauri Markkanen for the Bulls at No. 7 and the Bulls took Creighton forward Justin Patton at No. 16 for the Wolves. Patton is a 6-foot-11 forward who was the Big East freshman of the year after averaging 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds last season.

When Thibodeau was hired as team president and coach last summer, he quickly set his sights on bringing Butler to Minnesota. The two sides engaged on serious discussions on draft night last year, but couldn't close it.

LaVine was having a breakout third season in the league when he tore the ACL in his left knee in February. His rehabilitation has gone well, but the injury certainly complicated the Wolves' re-engaging Chicago on Butler. Adding to the difficulty was Dunn's underwhelming first year in Minnesota, which diminished his trade value.

With all that in play, the Wolves were forced to also offer up the No. 7 pick this season to push the deal over the top. But they did receive Chicago's first-round pick in return. The move, and the package they assembled to make it, signal an organization that is desperate to start winning.

Butler averaged career highs in points (23.9), rebounds (6.2) and assists (5.5) in his sixth season. He is also one of the league's top defenders, an absolute necessity for a young team that finished 26th in the league in defensive efficiency last season. He will turn 28 in September, right in the middle of his prime for a team in need of veteran leadership.

"The most important thing to me are the things he does every day, the way he practices, the things that he does in meetings, the way he prepares before a game, the things that he does for recovery," Thibodeau said. "He'll show our players a lot of the things that he's learned along the way."

The move also represents the first significant steps toward an overhaul for the Bulls. Despite a spirited effort, the Bulls were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Wade opted in for the final year of his contract, but that isn't stopping Chicago from pivoting to a new, younger nucleus that includes LaVine, Dunn, Markkanen and Denzel Valentine.

Now that Butler is gone, the 35-year-old Wade could become a buyout candidate as the Bulls go into rebuilding mode.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics draft night recap

celtics_draft_bst_062317.jpg

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics draft night recap

SUBSCRIBE iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

0:41 - Danny Ainge on why he saw Jayson Tatum as the best player in the draft, Kristaps Porzingis rumors, and why Josh Jackson canceled his Celtics draft workout.

4:49 - Rich Gotham joins to discuss taking Jayson Tatum with the 3rd overall pick, being patient with the development of players and if there were any potential trades out there.

9:53 - Kyle Draper, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Brian Scalabrine break down the selection of Jayson Tatum and talk about the rumor that the Celtics were in discussions with the Pacers for Paul George. 

13:15 - Tom Giles, Michael Holley, and Kayce Smith debate if it was worth trading down to the 3rd pick to draft Tatum and how Tatum will always be compared to Markelle Fultz for his whole career.