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About Joe Haggerty
Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for the Woburn Daily Times Chronicle over the last six seasons and does actually remember the last time the Black and Gold were favored in a playoff series. Haggerty grew up in a hockey family, but the closest he came to playing ice hockey was enrolling in an ice skating class. Haggs is old enough to remember when TV guys like Mike Milbury, Rick Middleton and Andy Brickley skated for the B’s, but still young enough to think that Milan Lucic could be the next Big Hockey Thing in Boston.
 
COLUMNS
Joe Haggerty
05/15/2009 - 2:14am
There were certainly things to point toward when looking for reasons behind a stunning Game 7 overtime loss for the Bruins Thursday night against Carolina. The power play went dry as a bone during an 0-for-4 rut in the 3-2 overtime defeat, and was nothing short of abysmal during the entire series. Marc Savard (knee) and Mark Recchi (undisclosed injury) were both definitely playing with physical problems that hobbled them, and Savard clearly wasn’t at his best after catching a knee-on-knee hit from Chad LaRose at the end of Game 6.
Joe Haggerty
05/14/2009 - 1:19am
This is the place where heroes are forged and reputations are built to mythic heights or dropped straight into the puck dumpster. It’s the place where grown men crumble into blubbering, tear-filled fools and sheer pressure can turn the stomach of even the staunchest, fire-bellied competitor. Every young hockey player dreams of ripping a top shelf game-winner in overtime or making that full-extension toe save in the waning moments of a one-goal game, but there’s one thing that’s always constant in those hockey visions. It’s always Game 7.
Joe Haggerty
05/13/2009 - 1:21am
RALEIGH, N.C. – All season long the Bruins have touted their depth and balanced scoring as one of the clear strengths of their hockey team. They’ve been a hockey club capable of beating opponents in many different ways, but that part of the Black and Gold was missing for those first four stranger-in-a-strange-rink postseason games against the Carolina Hurricanes. It was, as Claude Julien said, the Spoked B playing “their worst hockey at the worst possible time of year.” Doesn’t that all seem like weeks ago now?
Joe Haggerty
05/11/2009 - 4:53am
Milan Lucic might have provided the turning point in the Bruins-Carolina playoff series with 5:45 to go in the first period of Sunday night’s Game 5. The 20-year-old hulking, board-rattling winger has become – in many ways – the physical and emotional compass of this Bruins’ hockey team, and he turned the searing intensity up to “high” when he crunched Carolina defenseman Dennis Seidenberg in the corner with a thunderous body check as the Canes blueliner went back to a retrieve a loose puck.
Joe Haggerty
05/09/2009 - 1:18am
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Boston Bruins Executive Vice-President Charlie Jacobs had just hopped onto an elevator at the RBC Center following a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in an all-important Game 4 of the Stanley Cup semifinal series.   When asked how he was doing, he replied: “I’ve been better. That stunk.”  
Joe Haggerty
05/07/2009 - 1:28am
RALEIGH -- It appears the Bruins now have a series on their hands. The Big Bad -- and brought to their knees -- B’s will have to put together quite the pull-out-the-stops effort in Friday night’s Game 4 to reverse the changing momentum in this series.
Joe Haggerty
05/05/2009 - 11:37pm
Just about everything has gone right for 41-year-old Mark Recchi since he was whisked away from hockey purgatory in Tampa Bay and traded to the Cup-hungry Bruins on March 4. “Rex” had 10 goals and six assists in 18 games after donning the Spoked B sweater and — more importantly, since this was the big reason that Boston acquired his left-handed shot — piled up eight power-play points while gelling instantly with the rest of the first PP unit.
Joe Haggerty
05/04/2009 - 5:25am
There was some sentiment before the series started by many donning the oh-so-chic Black and Gold-colored glasses that the masked man for the Carolina Hurricanes wasn’t in the same class of goaltender as two-time All-Star Tim Thomas.  
Joe Haggerty
05/02/2009 - 4:13am
It’s easy sometimes get so caught up in Zdeno Chara’s considerable shutdown defensive abilities that a talented group of B’s two-way forwards don’t get the proper “rink cred” they deserve for their own elite level of defensive prowess.   
Joe Haggerty
05/01/2009 - 1:17am
Let’s start off with this. The Bruins should win this playoff series.   The eye-opening, four-game sweep of the Montreal Canadiens exorcised any remaining demons from last season, and lifted a 500-pound gorilla called pressure and expectation off the collective backs of B’s skaters at the same time.  
Joe Haggerty
04/28/2009 - 12:56pm
With a series of Game 7’s on tap for Tuesday night hot on the heels of a great Ducks/Sharks elimination game last night – whoever thought we’d see Jumbo Joe Thornton drop the gloves right off the hop in the opening faceoff with Anaheim big guy Ryan Getzlaf? – there’s plenty to talk about in this playoff edition of the Hagg Bag.
Joe Haggerty
04/23/2009 - 2:03am
MONTREAL – Amidst an extraordinary hockey season, the sources of discontent for chronic Bruins complainers continue to disappear. One more axe came to a definitive demise in Wednesday night’s Game 4 when the Black and Gold enjoyed a sight they haven’t witnessed much in their 85-year history.
Joe Haggerty
04/21/2009 - 9:14pm
MONTREAL -- One of the biggest clichés in professional sports is the notion of the “elimination game.” It’s the last breath of life for any pro sports team, and it’s something undeniably steeped in reality. The degree of commitment it takes in the world of pro hockey to drive that final stake through the heart a staggered club is formidable, and it’s something the Bruins will have to show come game time Wednesday night.
Joe Haggerty
04/21/2009 - 12:25am
MONTREAL –- Byron Bitz should have been a jangled bundle of nerves as he took the ice for his first NHL playoff game at the raucous Bell Centre Monday night — and truth be told, he was a little on edge after skating out for the National Anthems amid a frenzy of white towels and screaming French-Canadian fans.
Joe Haggerty
04/20/2009 - 7:42am
The Bruins don’t have to look too deeply in the past to remember what happened the last time they had a player suspended during a playoff series.   It was seven years ago, back in the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs, and the incident came against the very same Montreal Canadiens team. The Black and Gold were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playing the No. 8 seed Habs – just as they are now – and it’s probably a series the Bruins should have won.  
Joe Haggerty
04/19/2009 - 12:00am
The Canadiens finally got what they wanted. No, it wasn't the final outcome in a 5-1 Game 2 shellacking that featured an utter beat down on the ice -- led by mild-mannered, gentlemanly Patrice Bergeron of all people -- and a master class in scoring, passing and power play proficiency before a frenzied pucks crowd at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Joe Haggerty
04/16/2009 - 2:38pm
The Bruins are saying and doing all the right things. They were a “one game at a time” quote machine heading into a highly-anticipated playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens that got underway Thursday night. B’s bench boss Claude Julien says the pressure associated with being the Eastern Conference top seed is non-existent, and that it’s about “playing the way that’s made the team successful this year.” “One game at a time.”
Joe Haggerty
04/16/2009 - 2:34pm
The Bruins are saying and doing all the right things. They were a “one game at a time” quote machine heading into a highly-anticipated playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens that’s got underway Thursday night. B’s bench boss Claude Julien says the pressure associated with being the Eastern Conference top seed is non-existent, and that it’s about “playing the way that’s made the team successful this year.” “One game at a time.”
Joe Haggerty
04/12/2009 - 3:51pm
The Bruins have garnered the top spot in the Eastern Conference for the first time in five years, and won back many of the wayward fans that deserted the Spoked B hockey club when the Harry Sinden and Mike O’Connell-led ship splintered into the rocks following the NHL lockout.
Joe Haggerty
04/06/2009 - 10:59pm
It seemed like yesterday that the Bruins’ season was just shooting out of the starting gate, and Boston was still ignoring the Black and Gold — despite the excitement stirred up by last season’s seven-game playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens. People needed to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and shoved into boards like a Milan Lucic body check to again care about hockey, and that’s exactly what’s transpired over the last seven months.
Joe Haggerty
04/01/2009 - 11:50pm
It’s no shrouded mystery that David Krejci has emerged as a point-producing puck artist in his first full season with the Bruins. The 22-year-old native of the Czech Republic exploded through the minor leagues as a gifted, instinctive offensive player with a bit more physical edginess than your typical European scorer, and took the Hub by storm this winter while racking up points through the NHL All-Star break.
Joe Haggerty
03/27/2009 - 12:05pm
Mark Recchi has watched hundreds of great hockey players during his 24 seasons playing junior hockey, riding minor league  buses and largely enjoying the good life of the NHL.   To put it in perspective, the 41-year-old Recchi and former Bruins goaltender Bill Ranford, who has been retired since the turn of the century, both began their prospective hockey careers on the same New Westminster Bruins junior team back in the mid-1980’s.  
Joe Haggerty
03/23/2009 - 11:33pm
So much talk the last few weeks about a potential first-round playoff collapse by the Black and Gold, and whether the Bruins are actually as good as they appeared during the first half of the year. The quick-and-dirty answers to each of the question is no.
Joe Haggerty
03/18/2009 - 8:31pm
It might be hockey heresy to say, but the sizzling surge of the New Jersey Devils might be the best thing that’s happened to the Bruins. Let’s face it.   The Black and Gold Bears have coasted since the beginning of February with a 9-9-3 record in a sports form of puck hibernation, and it’s affected nearly every area of their overall game at one point or another.  
Joe Haggerty
03/14/2009 - 8:37am
FELGER’S OPENING STATEMENT  


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