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?

Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks


Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

New York’s mistake helped the Red Sox, and they weren’t playing the Yankees.

The Red Sox struck out 20 in a game for the third time in franchise history on Thursday night, and they were able to do so only after MLB’s replay team — based in Manhattan — gave Craig Kimbrel an extra batter to strike out in the ninth inning.

A 6-2 win over the Rangers featured 16 strikeouts for Red Sox pitching heading into the top of the ninth at Fenway Park. Kimbrel came on for a non-save situation because he had five days off previously.

There’s always that outside chance for a four-strikeout inning, and it happened. Even for a four-strikeout inning, however, this was bizarre.

The first batter, lefthanded hitting Nomar Mazara, swung and missed at a back-foot breaking ball for strike 3 — a literal back-foot breaking ball, because it hit him in that foot after he whiffed on the pitch.

On a swing and a miss with a pitch that hits the batter, the ball should be dead. He should not have been able to reach first base. But the umpires didn’t catch the ball hitting Mazara, and instead saw it as a wild pitch. 

Sox manager John Farrell asked for a review and the umpires went for one, but came back empty-handed. The crew was told, erroneously, that the play could not be looked at and the batter was awarded first base.

“It was just a swinging strike three, ball that go away and he obviously reached first base,” crew chief Alfonso Marquez told pool reporter Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “The only thing that I can tell you, and the only thing I will say is, this was a replay issue. New York will come out with a statement.”

You could say it worked out just fine. Kimbrel went on to strike out the next three, and got the Sox to 20 Ks.

Kimbrel and Tim Wakefield are the only Red Sox pitchers to fan four batters in a single inning. Wakefield did it in the ninth inning on Aug. 10, 1999. 

Kimbrel did it once before as well, when he was with the Braves on Sept. 26, 2012.

No one has struck out five in a major league inning, although Kimbrel has as good a chance as anyone.

“The guy strikes out the world,” Matt Barnes said. “It’s ridiculous. … His fastball is seemingly unhittable. Complement that with the breaking ball he’s got, which comes right off that same plane, when he’s commanding it like he is, the numbers kind of speak for themselves. It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s fun to watch.”

The Sox have struck out 20 in a nine-inning game three times since 1913. Roger Clemens' two 20-strikeout games are the other two.