Sideline Observations: Boston Bruins 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)

Tyler Seguin recorded the game-winner on Sunday, which forced a seventh game on Wednesday at the TD Garden! (Photo Credit: CBS Boston)

By Matt Noonan 

Facing a win or go home scenario, Boston buckled down and defeated Washington on Sunday at the Verizon Center, 4-3 in overtime, and forced a seventh game in this particular Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.

Tyler Seguin netted the game-winner at 3:17 in the extra session, and also recorded an assist in his team’s third postseason victory, while Andrew Ference, David Krejci and Rich Peverley each potted a goal for Boston.

How The Game Was Won: The Bruins earned a 3-2 lead midway through the third period before the Capitals evened the score with an Alex Ovechkin tally at 15:08, which prompted an extra session.

In the fourth frame, Boston earned their second overtime victory of the series on their third strike by Seguin, who managed to weave past Washington’s netminder Braden Holtby, (27 saves) for the clincher.

Seguin’s Goal Cracked Holtby: With a chance to help his team punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference semi-finals, Washington’s 22-year-old netminder deflected two shots by Boston in overtime, but couldn’t contain their third, as Seguin snuck the puck past Holtby for the game-winning goal.

Seguin’s strike propelled an animated postgame celebration on the ice, and pushed the momentum arrow toward Boston. It also exhibited that Holtby isn’t comfortable with traffic in front of the net, too.

Holtby has been rather impressive against Boston, but one might wonder, will he be able to rebound on Wednesday?

Two-Goal First Period: Entering Sunday’s afternoon affair, Boston had won 16 contests when they scored two or more goals in the first period.

Against the Capitals, the Bruins ended the opening period with a 2-1 lead, and wound up beating their first round foe by one goal.

Boston is now 17-0-0 when notching two or more tallies in the opening frame.

Game No. 7: Last season, Boston won two consecutive game sevens, and will attempt to earn their first of the 2012 playoffs on Wednesday.

Daily Noontime – April 20, 2012

Rich Peverley registered Boston's game-tying strike in the first period, which wasn't enough to spark the Bruins offense, as the local hockey squad fell to Washington, 2-1! (Photo Credit: CBS Boston)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Friday to everyone! Let’s kick-start the final work day with some headlines and news from…Boston! Also, Happy Birthday Fenway Park!

* The Washington Capitals evened their best of seven game series with Boston on Thursday, as they defeated the Bruins, 2-1. Braden Holtby deflected 44 shots between the pipes, while Rich Peverley notched Boston’s only strike in the first period.

* Boston and Washington will return to the ice for Game No. 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series on Saturday afternoon at the TD Garden — face-off is scheduled for 3:00pm.

* The Boston Red Sox will commemorate their 100-year-old ballpark on Friday when they host the New York Yankees for a 3:05pm first pitch. Both squads met at Fenway Park on this exact date 100 years ago, too.

Clay Buchholz will be on the mound for the Red Sox on Friday, and will oppose Ivan Nova, who has won two contests this season against Baltimore and Los Angles.

* Finally, the Boston Celtics will play their final regular season road contest on Friday when they travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks — tip-off is at 7:00pm.

Sideline Observations – Washington Capitals 2, Boston Bruins 1

By NoontimeSports.com 

Washington’s Braden Holtby deflected 44 of 45 shots between the pipes, and yielded one Boston goal, as the Capitals defeated the Bruins at the Verizon Center, 2-1.

Boston and Washington have now won two contests — both at home and on the road — and will play at least two more contests.

Marcus Johansson and Alexander Semin provided Washington with two goals, while Rich Peverley notched Boston’s only strike in the first period.

Tim Thomas concluded the game with 19 saves, too.

Boston’s power play woes continued, as they ended the contest 0 for 1, while Washington recorded a power play at 18:43 in the second period.

Both teams will return to the ice on Saturday afternoon, as Boston will host Washington for a critical fifth game of the series. Last year, Boston won the fifth game of their opening round series against Montreal, and wound up defeating the Canadiens in seven games.

What will happen this year? Thoughts? Ideas? Analysis? Feel free to post your comments about this particular series below!

Daily Noontime – March 26, 2012

Avery Bradley paced the Green and White on Sunday with 23 points! (Photo Credit: CelticsHub.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Good Monday to everyone, and let’s welcome back the Daily Noontime! After a week off, we’re back and ready to roll. So, without further ado, let’s kick-start the day with some headlines and news.

* The Boston Celtics tallied 53 first half points and never looked back, as the Green and White defeated the Washington Wizards at home on Sunday, 88-76. Avery Bradley paced the Celtics with 23 points, while Paul Pierce tallied 21 points. Boston is now 26-22, and will attempt to earn another “w” on Monday when they travel to Charlotte to tip-off against the Bobcats at 7:00pm.

Marty Turco recorded his first win in a Boston sweater on Sunday, as the Bruins defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2. The win marks a 2-1 record for the Black and Gold, who’ll be returning home from their west coast trip on Tuesday to face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Boston has seven games remaining on their schedule, and certainly each match will be critical for the Black and Gold, especially if they’d like to remain the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

* For the first time in 19 games, Rich Peverley returned to the ice after sustaining a MCL sprain in his right knee a few weeks ago. The forward told the media after the game concluded that he felt good, and was content about being able to play, too.

* Boston College will return to the Frozen Four for the second time in three seasons, as the Eagles defeated Minnesota-Duluth on Sunday at the DCU Center in Worcester, 4-0. Minnesota-Duluth was the defending champions, but apparently BC was too much for them. The Eagles will return to the ice on Thursday, April 5, when they face-off against the University of Minnesota.

* Finally, New England Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light, who according to sources is expected to retire, was recently elected to NFL Players Association executive committee. He told reporters that he’s committed to helping younger players grow in the sport he loves.

Daily Noontime – February 27, 2012

Joe Maddon admitted that the Tampa Bay Rays won’t ban beer in their club house. (Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Monday everyone, and welcome into a brand new edition of the Daily Noontime! Here are some headlines and news swirling around the city of Boston.

* Literally one day after the Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine announced that his team would ban beer in the clubhouse, Tampa Bay Rays skipper Joe Maddon lashed out by telling the press that his ball club would be allowed to enjoy an “adult beverage” in their club house. Maddon also told the Tampa Bay Times that the Rays are not the Red Sox. So, with all of this being said, should we consider this motivation for Boston to beat Tampa Bay this year?

* Monday will certainly be a busy day for the Boston Bruins, who’ll attempt to initiate a trade before the NHL deadline concludes in the afternoon. Boston could certainly use some help at the wing position, especially since Nathan Horton and Rich Peverley are currently sidelined with injuries. The Bruins concluded their more recent six-game swing with a 3-2-1 record, and will return to the ice on Tuesday evening when they welcome the Ottawa Senators to the TD Garden for a 7:00pm face-off.

* The Boston Celtics will look to snap their five-game losing streak on Tuesday when they travel to Cleveland for a 7:00pm tip-off against the Cavaliers. The Green and White are currently ranked eighth in the Eastern Conference, and on-par to make the playoffs. However, Cleveland, who is ranked ninth in the conference, is one-and-half games behind Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Noonan: The Ups And Downs Of Boston Sports

Bobby Valentine has spiced things up in Florida! (Photo Credit: Boston Herald)

By Matt Noonan 

It’s been a while since a dark, stormy cloud drifted over the city of Boston.

For the past few weeks, Bostonians and New Englanders have appeared aggravated and disgusted with their four major professional sports teams because they’ve either struggled or disengaged.

Yet, let’s take a step back and realize that these particular days will pass because Boston is still technically the “City of Champions,” especially since all four major sports teams have won at least one championship in the past 11-years, right?

So, without further ado, let’s take a stroll downtown and check in with the Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox, who’re currently stealing the spotlight from the New England Patriots, who ended their season a few weeks ago in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Thoughts on the Sox: It’s way too early to deem the upcoming Boston Red Sox season a failure, especially since it’s only been two days of pitchers and catchers.

Manager Bobby Valentine has done a rather decent job with the club over the past few days, and appears eager to help everyone improve, especially Daisuke Matsuzaka, who according to the Boston Globe, played catch with his skipper on Monday. However, the highly touted pitcher isn’t expected to return the Fenway Park bump until midseason, as he’s currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Carl Crawford seems focused and determined to improve his performance from last season, despite ending the year with 129 hits, 29 doubles, seven triples, 56 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Also, he struck out 104 times at the plate, too. Yet, similar to Matsuzaka, Valentine doesn’t want to push his leftfielder back into the lineup because he’s currently recovering from surgery on his left wrist.

Finally, a majority of the Sox position players have already arrived in Fort Myers, which is a hopeful sign that they’ve moved on from their chicken and beer rituals from last season. Boston is expected to conduct their first full team workouts on Thursday, and I’m sure after it concludes, we’ll have plenty to discuss around the water cooler in regards to David Ortiz to Cody Ross to Jason Varitek.

The aging Boston Celtics: Literally two weeks ago, I was sitting in the TD Garden watching the Green and White face a Memphis Grizzlies squad that probably should have won this particular clash, especially because they’re younger, quicker, stronger and faster. Although, Kevin Garnett denied the Grizzlies of a much needed win by turning in 22 points and nine rebounds, which helped Boston escape with a 98-80 victory.

Although, ever since that particular day, Boston has endued a 2-6 slump, which includes two losses to a struggling Detroit Pistons team that’ll most likely miss the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Can Danny Ainge salvage the Boston Celtics season? (Photo Credit: Flickr)

The Celtics are a complete mess, and need something or someone to spark their offense and defense, but what exactly should they do?

Should team president Danny Ainge create a blockbuster move or keep the roster intact?

What would Red Auerbach do? OK, that maybe the wrong thing to ask, but really, what would the former coach do in this particular situation?

It’s hard to determine what will happen over the next few weeks, but it’s pretty certain that a change is needed, especially if Boston plans to contend for some hardware in June.

The Bruins need to score goals: Similar to the Celtics, the Bruins are struggling.

They’ve lost two of their last three contests, and registered a goose egg (zero) on the scoreboard for the sixth time this season this past Sunday when the Minnesota Wild blanked them, 2-0 on national television.

However, Boston can salvage their current six-game road trip with wins in St. Louis, Buffalo and Ottawa, which might turn some frowns upside down.

Various reports on Tuesday and Wednesday confirmed that Nathan Horton is expected to remain sidelined, while Rich Peverley continues to be hampered by a knee injury. Also, Shawn Thornton has been battling an illness, which could prevent him from playing against the Blues on Wednesday.

Although, despite the various injuries, as well as bumps and bruises I think, Patrice Bergeron summed it up perfectly when he told the media that his teammates aren’t expecting the front office to locate a “savior” to assist the Bruins, who’re currently on par to snag the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

I don’t think a drastic change is necessary for this particular squad. What Boston needs to do is focus on scoring the first goal, and capitalizing on it. They also need Tim Thomas to keep his mind on hockey, not politics or social media.

The Bruins will be fine, but I’m not ruling out a potential trade that could help Boston in May and June.

Daily Noontime – February 17, 2012

Despite losing to Chicago on Thursday, Kevin Garnett led Boston with 18 points and 10 rebounds! (Photo Credit: Boston Herald)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Friday, and welcome into yet another stupendous edition of the Daily Noontime! Here are some headlines and news to kick-start the final weekday!

* Chicago outscored Boston, 29-21 in the final frame, which helped the Bulls defeat the Celtics in the Windy City, 89-80. Chicago has now won 27 games, while Boston falls to 15-14 on the year, as well as 4-6 on the road. Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng paced Chicago with 23 points apiece, while Kevin Garnett led Boston with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Boston will look to snap their two-game skid on Sunday, when they travel to Detroit to face the Pistons for a 6:00pm tip-off.

* The Boston Bruins will continue their six-game swing on Friday evening, as they travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets. The Black and Gold are expected to be without Rich Peverley, who sustained a knee injury on Wednesday against Montreal. Also, Nathan Horton continues to remain sidelined due to a concussion he sustained against Philadelphia in January.

* Sources confirmed on Thursday that Brad Marchand won’t be suspended for a hit on Montreal’s Alexei Emelin from this past Wednesday. NHL Senior VP of Player Safety Brandon Shanahan tweeted that there won’t be any disciple for the Bruins winger.

* Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield have yet to show up at the Boston Red Sox spring training facility in Florida. Both players want to return to the club, but according to sources, Boston said they’re not guaranteeing roster spots for either player, but instead have offered minor league contracts with an invitation to attend Spring Training.

Daily Noontime – February 6, 2012

Eli Manning once again led New York past New England in Super Bowl XLVI. (Photo Credit: SB Nation)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Monday in New England, and while many continue to dry their eyes from Sunday’s Super Bowl loss, let’s attempt to turn the page with some news and headlines.

* The New York Giants once again defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 21-17. Eli Manning completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards and on touchdown, while Ahmad Bradshaw scored the game winning touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. Also, the Patriots recorded five penalties for 28 yards, too. Manning was named the MVP for the second time in four years, as the Giants earned their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history.

* The Boston Celtics won their fourth consecutive contest on Sunday at the TD Garden, as they defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 98-80. Kevin Garnett led the Green and White with 24 points and nine rebounds, while Rajon Rondo handed out 14 assists. Boston will return to the hardwood on Tuesday when they host the Charlotte Bobcats.

* The Boston Bruins snapped their two-game losing streak on Sunday in Washington D.C., as the Black and Gold defeated the Capitals, 4-1. Tim Thomas turned away 35 shots, while Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley all scored goal for Boston. The Bruins will conclude their short road trip on Wednesday when they travel to Buffalo.

* Lastly, Monday marks the first day of the men’s Boston Beanpot, which enters its 60th year. Boston University will face-off against Harvard at 5pm, while Boston College will take on Northeastern at 8pm.

Bruins Snap Three-Game Losing Streak, Beat Senators, 5-3

 

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, MA — October wasn’t exactly the greatest month for the Boston Bruins, who posted a [3-7] record.

However, on the first day of November, the men dressed in black and yellow turned the page, and ended their three-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory against the Ottawa Senators, as well as their fourth win of the season.

“I think we were trying to maintain that 60-minute focus in our game,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “I think everybody was on the same page tonight as far as, don’t hang your heads, let’s go out there, let’s get the next goal, and let’s find a way to win this game.”

“I think overall we battled hard,” said Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. “Give [Boston] credit, their PK [penalty kill] was good. Overall we battled to make it 3-3 and we were in the game and we just couldn’t seem to stick with it and find a way to get a point.”

Ottawa set the tone early by scoring twice on nine-shots in the first period, thanks to Nick Foligno, (one goal, two assists) and Stephane Da Costa, while Boston countered with Milan Lucic on the team’s second power play of the game before Patrice Bergeron, (three goals, two assists in his last five games), added the Bruins second goal early in the middle period. Then, after Bergeron re-energized the TD Garden crowd, Chris Kelly, (one goal, one assist) rifled the puck past Craig Anderson 14-minutes later, and gave the Bruins a one-goal advantage heading into the second intermission.

[Rich] Peverley entered the zone with a lot of speed and everyone was pretty much concentrated on him because he was moving so fast, and I just tried to find the high slot there and it was a great job by Jordan [Caron] to be at the net there,” said Kelly, when asked to describe his goal.

Jared Cowen kicked-off the final period with his Ottawa’s final score of the evening, as he pushed the puck past Tim Thomas to tie the game before Boston rebounded once again, and netted two goals in a span of 37-seconds. Johnny Boychuk and Daniel Paille not only gave the Bruins their largest lead of the game, but also recorded their first goals of the season, and officially ended any possible comeback by the Senators.

“Getting that first one by you and now you don’t have to worry about it. I think last year it took me until January, so I feel a little bit better,” said Boychuck.

Obviously, the Bruins have struggled this season, but earning a win against a Senators team that entered Tuesday’s affair atop the Northeast Division might give Boston some confidence, especially against Toronto on Saturday.

“Hopefully we can build off this and have a couple good practices before we go into Toronto,” said Kelly.

 

Bruins Even Series with Canucks on Wednesday with 4-0 Win

Boston did everything they could, as the Bruins officially tied the NHL Stanley Cup Finals series, 2-2!

By Matt Noonan 

No one gave this team a chance, but after two nights of “home-cooking” at the TD Garden, Boston has made this a series, as they swept Games 3 and 4 against the Vancouver Canucks by a combined score of 12-1.

Wednesday’s game was physical, intense and yes, you guessed it, “in your face.” The Bruins registered four goals thanks to Rich Peverley, Michael Ryder and Brad Marchand, while the defense helped goaltender Tim Thomas preserve yet another shutout in the postseason.

The TD Garden rocked, as well as chanted, “We Want the Cup, We Want the Cup!

What the Boston Bruins have done over the course of the last 72-hours is restore hope and faith in the Hub. Indeed, we were all worried and scared about the men who sport the spoked-B on their chest, but after two enormous “butt-whooping’s,” I think it’s fair to say that the Bruins are ready to invade Canada and return to Boston with a 3-2 series lead.

However, who exactly knows what will happen in Game 5 because this series has gone from a best-of-seven to best-of-three. It’s no longer about home ice, crowds or “raw-raw” supporters, but instead, heart, agility, speed, quickness and toughness.

The Bruins and Canucks have baffled us through four games and now, it’s finally time to see who is destined to be one step closer to hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup.

For Bruins supporters, Games 3 and 4 were joyful, but those who bleed blue and green, they’ve been the absolute opposite. In fact, they’ve been nightmares and yes, Vancouver and its fans want the Canucks to rebound, but can they win Game 5?

I’m positive that Game 5 will be a completely different atmosphere, especially since it will be held in a hostile environment called the Rogers Arena. Most likely, they’ll taunt the Bruins for three or more periods. They’ll scream, yell and possibly, bite?

Hmm… not sure I should have said, “bite,” right?

Expect Claude Julien’s bunch to be prepared, but now the question is, can they steal a game on the road? Who knows, but while we ponder that particular question, let’s at least embrace the fact that the Bruins tied the series, 2-2 on Wednesday evening and are now headed to Vancouver for what should be considered a “must-win” game.