Patriots

Fifteen thoughts from Bruins-Sabres

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Fifteen thoughts from Bruins-Sabres

BUFFALO Here are five thoughts from the first period of the Bruins and Sabres with both teams locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes of action at the First Niagara Center.

1) A couple of good stops by Tuukka Rask in the first period particularly on a Derek Roy tipped puck right in front of the net in the first minute of action. You had to expect that Rask would be motivated after getting humbled here his last time in Buff, and hes been good. A much tighter hockey game as well with both teams doing a good job clogging up the neutral zone, but it appears that whatever work Rask has been doing with goalie coach Bob Essensa is helping.

2) A shot on net and a perfect five-for-five in the face-off circle while David Krejci is playing right wing for the Bruins. Hes put together another solid period after an encouraging performance against the Blues, but a little actual offensive production looks like something the Bs will need tonight.

3) Bruins defensemen looking a little slow on their skates tonight. Thomas Vanek blew right on by Adam McQuaid but missed the net with a shot, and Tyler Ennis looked like he went through Zdeno Charas legs while attacking the left post. But Tuukka Rask was able to hold the post and keep it scoreless.

4) Corey Tropp with three shots on goal playing in place of Brad Boyes. I think hes already matched Boyes production over the last two weeks.

5) Mike Knuble a health scratch again against the Montreal Canadiens and apparently not too happy about it. Its time for the Washington Capitals to do the right thing and trade the classy veteran. No way to treat a guy like Knuble unless theyre planning to deal him.

SECOND PERIOD

BUFFALO Here are five thoughts from the second period of the Bruins and Sabres with the Bs trailing Buffalo by a 1-0 score after the first 40 minutes of action at the First Niagara Center.

1) Another tired-looking performance by the Bruins following an encouraging one. No emotion, small pockets of physicality around large pockets of labored skating and little sustained traffic around Ryan Miller. There is still 20 minutes to go, but weve seen this Bruins team quite a bit lately.

2) Joe Corvo was decent two nights ago in St. Louis, but hes been bad tonight against the Sabres. Incredibly passive and afraid to shoot from the point on the power play and way off with his transition passing while breaking out of the defensive zone. There have been way too many of these games from Corvo this season. The defensive shortcomings are forgivable, but the offensive deficiencies are mystifying.

3) Ryan Miller brought the good stuff again tonight. Eighteen saves including a shoulder shrug stop when Tyler Seguin had a chance all alone after stealing the puck inside the blue line. Hes flowing with confidence when hes making stops like that on shots roofed to his glove side.

4) Huge swing in momentum when the Bruins fanned on their first power play attempt without a single shot, and the Sabres stormed right back down with an Andrej Sekera goal at the other end. Two power plays with nothing to show for it really isnt a good look for the Black and Gold.

5) Chris Kelly leads Bruins with four shots on net and has been active tonight. One of the most energetic players for the Bruins. They need more playing like him the final 20 minutes.

THIRD PERIOD

BUFFALO Here are five thoughts from the third period of the Bruins and Sabres with the Bs and Buffalo tied at a 1-1 score and headed to overtime after the first 60 minutes of action at the First Niagara Center.

1) Great energy from the fourth line in the third period. They earned the power play that helped set up Zdeno Charas game-tying goal. Did their jobs in the energy department at most important juncture of game. Six shots on net for them as a unit.

2) Johnny Boychuk covering for Zdeno Chara when hes caught up ice and diving face-first to block a Jordan Leopold shot from the slot to open the third period. The people criticizing his new contract extension should watch plays like that. Boychuk is fearless and wants to win. The Bruins need players like that.

3) Tuukka Rask with encouraging signs throughout the game. Twenty-two saves and many of them in high-traffic situations with plenty of bodies around the net. It was his best game in over a month and finally gets the Finn back on the right track.

4) Six shots on net for Chris Kelly and plenty of blue collar scoring chances around the net. The Bruins are beginning to rouse up those competitive juices and its obvious in some of the individual performances.

5) Give the Sabres credit, they started playing the proper way in the second half of the season. But it was way, way too late to try to get back into the hunt for a playoff spot.

BEST OF BST PODCAST: Patriots advance to AFC title game vs. Jaguars

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BEST OF BST PODCAST: Patriots advance to AFC title game vs. Jaguars

0:41 - Tom Curran and Albert Breer discuss some of the big takeaways from the Patriots win over the Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

4:49 - Jalen Ramsey told the fans in Jacksonville that the Jaguars would be going to the Super Bowl. Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith talk about if they have a problem with what Ramsey said and if the Patriots would be using his quote as bulletin board material.

9:25 - Curran, Breer, and Giles discuss Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels likely not returning with the Patriots as Patricia seems to be headed towards the Lions while McDaniels goes to the Colts.

14:06 - Michael Hurley joins BST to preview the Jaguars/Patriots matchup and discuss the Patriots schedule and road to the Super Bowl. 

No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

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No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

BOSTON – Less than 48 hours after one of his legendarily hard slap shots put a Montreal Canadiens forward in the hospital after striking him in the head, Zdeno Chara didn’t hesitate when given the chance to wind up and blast away on Monday afternoon.

It was the 40-year-old Chara that rocketed a slapper past Kari Lehtonen at the end of the second period, and in doing so energized the Bruins while getting them on the scoreboard. The Chara goal helped earn the Black and Gold a point in overtime before eventually falling to the Dallas Stars by a 3-2 score at TD Garden on Monday afternoon.

The Bruins captain had been texting with the felled Montreal winger on Monday, and was fully aware that Phillip Danault was out of the hospital and doing well aside from understandable concussion symptoms after a puck to the head. Perhaps that eased Chara’s mind just a little when it came time to lean into another wind-up slapper on Monday, but it was also certainly aided by the lack of brave bodies willing to front one of his heavy, hard point blasts.

“I obviously spoke to Phillip a number of times. I talked to him right after the game and wanted to make sure he was okay, and he texted me back that he’s doing fine. He’s been released [from the hospital] and that’s very positive, good news,” said Chara. “It’s obviously very unfortunate that it’s something that happens quite often, but it’s something you never want to see with somebody getting hit and hurt. I’m very happy he’s going to recover fully and hopefully he’s back on the ice and playing hockey [soon] like we all do.”

Was there any hesitation to Chara winding up and stepping into a 100-mph slap shot so quickly after the ugly incident in Montreal?

“It’s something that doesn’t happen very often where you have that clean [shooting] path to the net where you can settle the puck, take a look and take a full slapper,” said Chara. “Usually teams play so well structurally that there’s already somebody fronting it, and you’ve got to get it through him with bodies in front. It does happen, but it’s nice that you have that time to put everything on it.”

That’s exactly what the 6-foot-9 defenseman did in sparking the Bruins to come back from a 2-0 deficit and push for the overtime point while extending their point streak to a season-best 13 games and counting.

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