Celtics

Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Devils

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Devils

Here are 15 thoughts from the game with the Bruins and New Jersey Devils tied at a 3-6 score after 60 minutes at the TD Garden and headed to overtime.

FIRST PERIOD

1) Thats all it took was the coach to throw his hands up and start making some changes. Claude Julien tinkered with the lines and put his best playmaker (David Krejci) and finisher (Tyler Seguin) together, and instant offense was born. Krejci looked like he was skating at a different gear than the past month after getting paired with No. 19 and Milan Lucic adds the size and strength that the other two cant provide. Five of the nine shots on net were from the Krejci line and they could have easily had a couple more goals were it not for Martin Brodeur.

2) Tim Thomas looks like hes in You Shall Not Pass mode after the first period. Ten saves for Thomas, and a pair of big stops led immediately to Bruins goals at the other end of the ice. He stoned Patrik Elias cold on a tip in front of the net in the opening minute, and that led to Seguin and Krejci transitioning into a goal. Then he stuffed Kovalchuk and assisted on Tyler Seguins goal after Milan Lucic manhandled Mark Fayne up the left boards.

3) Greg Zanon buried David Clarkson in front of the Boston bench toward the end of the first period and officially endeared himself to the Nation of Black and Gold sweater-wearing members.

4) Long scrap between Shawn Thornton and Eric Boulton immediately after Bostons first goal. Both landed some heavy hits before the decision eventually went to Thornton, but he did end the fight prematurely after appearing to get cut in the forehead area. He immediately exited the ice afterward and didnt return to the bench until the final minutes of the period.

5) Bruins have won nine out of 12 face-offs and appear to be playing with the energy and urgency that everybody expected on Tuesday night against the Senators. Better late than never I guess.

SECOND PERIOD

1) The second period continues to be a dud for the Bruins. As the Globes Kevin Paul Dupont has aptly pointed out, those second period shortcomings have meant the Bruins have trailed going into the third period in 18 of their last 22 games this season. Thats a tough path for a team that is much better as a front-runner.

2) Joe Corvo has to go. His neutral zone turnover led to New Jerseys first goal and he half-heartedly skated to get back into the play as Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise buried Dennis Seidenberg on a 2-on-1. He was taken off the pairing with Dennis Seidenberg for a bit, but then was on the ice for New Jerseys second goal on his first shift paired back up with Seidenberg again. Hes been brutal defensively and non-existent offensively: its time for him to hit the pine for a stretch.

3) Tim Thomas was great in the first period and parts of the second period, but couldnt hold back the Jersey onslaught once it got started in the middle period. The Patrik Elias goal arrived after a puck bounced off Dennis Seidenberg in front of the net and a David Clarkson wraparound bid hit Andrew Ference between squeaking between Tim Thomas and the right post. Not his fault, but Thomas needs to find a way to keep New Jerseys third goal out of the net as he hugs the post.

4) Big miss by David Krejci midway through the first on the shorthanded breakaway looms large now. If Krejci gets that puck past Martin Brodeur it might have been a different game with the Bruins up 3-0. Give Brodeur some credit for locking things down after letting Boston go up by a couple of goals.

5) Bruins cant afford to let this one slip away. Boos at the end of the second period after watching the Bs self-destruct.

THIRD PERIOD

1) The Brian Rolston spot on the Brad MarchandPatrice Bergeron line might not work for very long. Marchand looks like a shell of himself forced to play the off-wing on the right side. Not a good trade-off just to get Rolston into a comfortable spot in the lineup.

2) Two goals for David Krejci. The hot and cold extremes have become more pronounced as he gained experience in the NHL. One has to really wonder why that is.

3) Joe Corvo benched for much of the third period as the Bruins went with five defensemen for long stretch of the final 20 minutes. Its looking more and more like he may be the healthy scratch when the Bs take the ice again Saturday night at TD Garden.

4) After watching one game from Greg Zanon, he is going to fit in really nicely with the Bruins. Three registered hits and a physical presence to go along with the willingness to step in front of any number of shots.

5) Brian Rolston looks like he doesnt have a lot of legs during these grueling shifts for the Bruins. Dont see the skating jets that he used to have in his first stint, but perhaps that was to be expected.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

0:41 - The Celtics returned to their winning ways with a 118-103 victory over the Orlando Magic. Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Rob “Hardy” Poole break down the win.

6:58 - Tom Giles and Hardy discuss the Bruins’ four-game winning streak and how the success of Anton Khudobin has helped keep the team afloat.

11:39 - Is the Patriots' Week 12 matchup with the Dolphins a trap game? Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Hardy discuss where Miami ranks among NFL teams and how the Patriots should approach the game.

17:07 - With Black Friday upon us, the Boston Sports Tonight crew discusses what big-ticket item they would choose to buy for any Boston sports team. 

 

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

BOSTON – Boston made strengthening their depth at the wing position a priority during the offseason.

Well, that depth will be put to the test with the possibility of at least one and maybe two of their top wing players being out for Saturday’s game at Indiana.

Shortly after Boston’s 118-103 win over Orlando on Friday night, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced that Marcus Morris (left knee) would not travel with the team for Saturday’s game against the Pacers.

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Also, Jaylen Brown will be attending the funeral of his best friend (Trevin Steede) in Georgia on Saturday and isn’t sure if he’ll be back with the team in time for Saturday’s game.

“My intention is to make it back. If I can, I’ll definitely be playing,” Brown said. “But we’ll see.”

The absence of Brown would be a huge blow for the Celtics.

Boston only returned four players from last season’s team, none of whom have improved their overall game as much as Brown did during the offseason.

He came into the season focused on being a lock-down defender.

But Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury was a game-changer for all the Celtics, including Brown.

Not only would Brown be charged with being an elite defender, but Boston now needed the second-year wing player to become more of a scoring threat.

And to Brown’s credit, he has risen to the challenge.

In 20 games (all starts) this season, Brown has averaged 15.9 points per game which is second on the team to Kyrie Irving (22.9). In addition, Brown’s defense has been among the keys to Boston’s 17-3 start which is the best record in the NBA thus far this season.

His defensive rating of 95.0 is fifth among players to appear in at least 10 games this season, and tops among all second-year players. And of the four players ahead of him, two – Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart – are teammates.

But just like the Celtics gave Isaiah Thomas all the time he needed in dealing with the death of his sister right before the playoffs last season, a similar approach has been taken with Brown which he is admittedly appreciative of the organization for doing.

“Brad (Stevens) has been great in this process,” Brown said. “Just somebody to talk to, allowing me to deal with it in the best way our family and their family feels we can deal with it. He’s been great; we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I can make it to Indiana; if not, I just have to re-group with my family and I’ll see you guys next game (against Detroit on Monday).”

While there's a chance that Brown will play against Indiana, the same can not be said for Morris who is definitely out.

Morris, who missed the first eight games of the season with left knee soreness, has been on a minutes restriction all season in addition to not being allowed to play in back-to-back games.

Following Friday’s game, Morris said the knee feels good but he understands the need to be cautious.

“It’s frustrating,” said Morris who acknowledged the decision was made by the coaching and medical staff. “I’m a competitor, so I want to be out there.”

He added, “Like I said, at this point I pretty much don’t have control over it when I’m playing. It’s a long season. I just want to be ready for June.”

With Morris out and Brown potentially out as well, the Celtics will be extremely thin and inexperienced at the wing position. Look for Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes to be in the starting lineup if Brown is out along with Morris.

Also, Stevens will likely use Terry Rozier and first-year forward Semi Ojeleye more in addition to increased spot-duty for another rookie, Abdel Nader. On Friday, Rozier had a career-high 23 points while Ojeleye and Nader had seven and three points, respectively.

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