Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Kings


Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Kings

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Los Angeles Kings by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes at TD Garden.

1)Rich Peverley snapped a 13-game goal-scoring drought with the first period goal, and was due for one to light the lamp. Hes been playing with good speed and aggressiveness for a good stretch and seems like he should have more than 5 goals at this point in the season, doesnt he?

2)A great look by Zach Hamill in the first period to find Peverley wide open on the backdoor, and the entire play was set up by the former first round picks forecheck. The puck bounced off Hamills skate and set things into motion for the center to eventually find Peverley backdoor. Another Hamill dish drew a penalty on Slava Moynov later in the period when he tripped Shawn Thornton in front of the net, and it looks like the 23-year-old is trying to make an impression. One good question to ask: at what point do the Bruins decide to see what Hamills versatility and playmaking can bring to the table rather than what theyve seen out of Jordan Caron thus far this year.

3)Dustin Penner missed an absolutely wide open net with a shot on a two-on-none with Simon Gagne when they managed to get behind a scrambling Adam McQuaid. That flubbed scoring chance just adds to a horrendous season for Penner in Los Angeles this season.

4)Three blocked shots for Dennis Seidenberg and nine blocked shots as a team in the first period for the Bruins. Just doing their part with Zdeno Chara out of the lineup.

5)Daniel Paille looks no worse for the wear in the first period after coming back from a mild concussion. He took a big hit from Jack Johnson during a penalty kill, and then rocked Dustin Brown on the same shift before moving for a shorthanded chance at the other end. Such a useful hockey player with his speed and tenacity, and looks no worse for wear.

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Los Angeles Kings by a 2-0 score after the first 40 minutes at TD Garden.

1)Dont hockey teams usually play with urgency and energy when the head coach has been canned? Kings have shown a little life on the power play, but are losing one-on-one battles all over the ice and Dustin Penner may need a defibrillator and some serious smelling salts to revive his game.

2)Only one shot on net for Brad Marchand in the first two periods, but hes been the good brat tonight. A big goal in the second period off a clean offensive zone face-off win for Patrice Bergeron and then he just missed high with a backhander over the crossbar on a breakaway attempt.

3)Three hits and one shot on net for Milan Lucic in the first two periods. He trucked over Dustin Brown in the first period and is looking to play the body as much or more than hes looking for offense right now. Lucic seems to have learned that the goals will come, but he needs to play on that physical edge in order to be effective.

4)Twenty one saves for Tuukka Rask and he entered tonight with a blistering .956 save percentage during the month of December in three games. It looks like Rask is finally getting the hang of maximizing his chances to play while partnering with Tim Thomas. Thats important for the Bs down the stretch.

5) Zach Hamill blocked a Jack Johnson shot that looked like it was fairly painful, and the Bs players on the bench tapped their sticks against the bards in front of them in support of the rookie. Hamill playing a strong game tonight and making a statement he wants a longer look in Boston.

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins crowning the Los Angeles Kings by a 3-0 score after 60 minutes at TD Garden.

1)Two penalties for Steve Kampfer tonight. Not so good.

2)Two goals for the good brat in Brad Marchand. Very good.

3)Strong night for Tuukka Rask, who just keeps getting better this season and weathered the Kings best chances in the third period. First shutout of the season for the young netminder.

4)The Bruins are 14-0-0 when they take a lead into the third period. That is just lockdown hockey for the Black and Gold.

5)Boy, are the Kings terrible. Boring, uninspired hockey with a bunch of players that dont look engaged in the least. How long until Dean Lombardi is in trouble?

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

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Celtics-Raptors preview: Ibaka is 'capable of changing the game'

Celtics-Raptors preview: Ibaka is 'capable of changing the game'

TORONTO – The decision to stand pat at the trade deadline for the Boston Celtics was made in part because they felt that as their roster is constructed, they can hold their own with anybody.

We’re going to find out just how true that is tonight as they face a revamped Toronto Raptors team that added a couple of notable players via trade, chief among them being Serge Ibaka from Orlando.

“That was a really good trade for them,” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “Bringing in a guy like Serge Ibaka; a defender, a four-man that can switch out on guards. A guy that can space the floor, shoot the 3.  So that was a good addition. I’m excited to see how that’s gonna work other than tomorrow.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was also impressed with the Ibaka trade.

“That’s an improvement; there’s no question about it,” Stevens said. “Now you can play a number of different ways. He’s a really good player; he’s very agile. He’s a very good shooter. You can play him or (Patrick) Patterson at the four (power forward) the entire game now. You can play them together as a small-ball four and five (center). It gives them a lot of options on offense and defense.”

While praise for Ibaka is nothing new, you have to remember there were reasons as to why the Magic decided to give up on him so quickly, something even more hard to understand considering the assets they gave up (Victor Olidipo and a 2016 first-round pick used to select Domantas Sabonis, among others) to acquire him.

The Magic decided that they would not be in the running to re-sign Ibaka when he hits the free agent market this summer; this coming after the Thunder traded him primarily because they did not plan on giving him the near-max contract he’ll be seeking. So rather than play out this season and lose him for nothing, the Magic decided to trade him while they still could get something (Terrence Ross) in return.

While in Orlando, Ibaka averaged a career-high 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots per game. For his career (all prior to this season spent in Oklahoma City), he’s averaging 11.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.

But he never seemed to provide the kind of impactful, difference-making play that Orlando was seeking.

And while the Celtics speak highly of Ibaka, he hasn’t been much of a problem for the Celtics this season.

In two games against Boston, Ibaka has averaged 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Jae Crowder believes the struggles Ibaka has endured against the Celtics, are not a clear reflection of what he’s capable of doing as a player.

“For sure it makes them better,” said Crowder in describing the Raptors with Ibaka. “He’s a guy that can stretch the floor and rebound at a high rate. We know what he brings to the table.”

And those struggles we saw of him with the Magic?

“I think it was him more so than us,” Crowder said. “I give him credit because he wasn’t playing with the energy and passion he usually brings. I’ve been able to line up against him a quite a few times.  He didn’t have that passion like he did when he was in O-K-C (Oklahoma City). Maybe he’ll have it now. I know exactly what he’s capable of doing; he’s capable of changing the game with his play.”