Tag Archives: NHL

Noontime’s Take: The Bruins Provided Us With Some Entertaining Hockey This Spring

noontime take

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11 

By now last night’s Stanley Cup game seven setback to the St. Louis Blues has officially set in for all of us. And it is a tough pill to swallow.

Waking up this morning was not as easy as it was yesterday – we were all excited for a seventh game, as well as the post-game celebration that would extend deep into the night and early this morning.

But instead, myself, along with other devoted Boston Bruins fans, were treated to a sight we may have not expected, a Blues victory, which included players, coaches, and various personnel skating around the TD Garden late last night celebrating the franchise’s initial championship.

And while St. Louis is certainly not singing the blues today, Boston is mourning a loss for a team that struggled to convey to reporters what exactly this setback means to both them and their fanbase.

Hearing stories from the locker room of players weeping to those that struggled to string together enough sentences for reporters certainly made me sympathize for them, but also made me realize how lucky we were as a fanbase to cheer on a dedicated group of hockey players for the past two months.

The Bruins captivated our attention every day by scoring impressive wins over the Toronto Maple LeafsColumbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes. We also celebrated some exciting wins against the Blues, as well, including a 7-2 thrashing in the third game, which provided Boston with a 2-1 advantage.

But our hometown team’s five-goal route was quickly forgotten a few days later when St. Louis rallied to win both games four and five, which ignited an early celebration for numerous Blues fans this past weekend. And while St. Louis was eager to begin a long-awaited celebration on Sunday, they were instead forced to wait an additional 72 hours before popping champaign due to Boston’s game six victory.

St. Louis will celebrate this win every day this summer, as well as think about it when they reconvene for the start of the National Hockey League‘s (NHL) 2019-20 season.

The loss to the Blues will resonate with us all for days, weeks and months, but the good news is another season will be here before we know it.

In the meantime, we have the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots to help us cope with a disappointing finish, along with with Anthony Davis trade talk, too – hello, Boston Celtics fans. And of course, there is the World Cup, as well, but we will certainly miss our mid-week and weekend hockey games that meant something.

We will have games that mean something again soon, Boston Bruins fans. And when they do mean something, you, I and others will gather around the television eager to cheer on our beloved hockey team to victory.

No matter how you cope with this particular loss, just know one thing, it was a heck of a run and a fun season. And despite the outcome, I am eager for more hockey.


Stay connected with Matt Noonan on Instagram and Twitter today! 

Noontime’s Take: There’s Nothing Like A Game Seven In Boston

noontime take

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Game seven. The two best words in sports.

In a few hours, we will be treated to a seventh game of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Stanley Cup Finals when the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues collide on Causeway Street.

Are you excited?

It feels like its been years since the Bruins last skated in a seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals, but it actually occurred eight years ago when the Bruins clinched the series with a convincing 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

The four-goal win over the Canucks is the Bruins’ lone game seven victory in franchise history. The Blues have never skated in a game seven, so the arrow should favor the Bruins, not the team from St. Louis, once the puck is dropped.

Game seven is not new to the Boston Celtics, who have won this particular contest seven times in franchise history, including the final game of the 1984 National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Final, which happened to occur on the same date as this evening’s series finale. Boston defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 111-102, to clinch the series – it was the last time a professional team in this city captured their league’s respective crown in the Bay State.

The Boston Red Sox have also competed in the seventh game of the World Series, but haven’t been as successful as the Bruins and Celtics. Since 1986, the Red Sox are 1-5 in the seventh game of a World Series, including 1912 when they lost to the New York Giants before clinching the championship one day later in the eighth game. Yes, some World Series needed eight games to decide a winner.

Boston’s lone seventh game win in a World Series occurred in 1903 when they were called the Boston Americans. They beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-3, before clinching the franchise’s initial championship one day later with a 3-0 victory.

Excluding 1903 and 1912, game seven has not been kind to the hometown ballclub as they lost the series in 1946, 1967, 1975, and 1986. Two of those series happened to be against the St. Louis Cardinals. But luckily, those series are in the past as Boston has beaten the Cardinals twice in the current century.

The New England Patriots have never experienced as a seventh game because the National Football League (NFL) is all about one-game playoff series, not three, five or seven. But if the Patriots played a seven-game series, I would pick New England to win.

Game seven is often a contest many sports fans remember. And I bet there will be some amazing moments (and memories) this evening between the Bruins and Blues that will be discussed for years to come.

I am excited – why not have a seventh game to decide this particular series? – but also nervous at the same time. I believe the Bruins can win this evening but also think the Blues could steal this one.

Boston has won six Stanley Cups. St. Louis has never won a Stanley Cup, so winning the series against the Bruins, who beat them in 1970, would certainly be satisfying for those decked out in Blue and Gold this evening.

We want the cup, we want a game seven victory, so here’s to hoping game seven will result in another win for a Boston winter team, which is accustomed to celebrating a championship once this contest concludes.


Stay connected with Matt Noonan by following him on Instagram and Twitter

Flaherty: Is Tuukka Rask’s The Right Goaltender For Boston?

rask_zv995mhy_9nzpzri2

Tuukka Rask has been up and down in the postseason, but can he eventually put it all together to lead Boston to a Stanely Cup? (PHOTO CREDIT: SportsOnEarth.com)

By Dan Flaherty (@TheSportsNotebo)

It was the moment that defined the Boston Bruins’ recently concluded series with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Charlie McAvoy gets pulled down. The obvious penalty goes uncalled and leaves Steven Stamkos wide open. The Lightning star promptly rips the goal that tied Game 4 past Tuukka Rask. And the series essentially ended there, and the questions rose anew about whether Rask is the right man in net if this young Bruins team is going to win a Stanley Cup next season or beyond.

Critics of Rask point to moments like the Stamkos goal in Game 4. They’re not being unreasonable.

In the immediate aftermath of that particular goal, I looked toward my friend, who I was watching the game with and said something to the effect of how it wasn’t a bad play by Rask, but one that if you have Stanley Cup aspirations, you need your goalie to step up and make.

That’s not the first time such sentiments have come up with regard to the Bruin goalie. Consider the recent history:

  • It wasn’t Tuukka’s fault that Boston lost to Ottawa in the first round of last year’s playoffs. The Senators defense made them a better first-round opponent than anyone gave them credit for—as evidenced by the fact Ottawa Senators took eventual champion Pittsburgh to double-overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. But Rask was outplayed by counterpart Craig Anderson.
  • It wasn’t Tuukka’s fault that Boston dropped a seven-game series to Montreal Canadiens in 2014, ending the best Bruins season in recent memory. They must have set a record for most shots to hit the pipe in a single playoff series, which is a sure sign that it’s not your year. But Rask was undeniably outplayed by Carey Price.
  • And it wasn’t Tuukka’s fault for the infamous collapse in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, when the Chicago Blackhawks scored two goals in the final two minutes and celebrated on the Garden ice. But like the Stamkos goal this year, it was an area where it’s reasonable to hope for your goalie to bail out the defense in the closing minutes.

Good but not good enough would be the simple summation of the bill of indictment drafted by the Rask critics. Particularly given that his $7.5 million annual salary makes him higher-paid than any goalie still playing and third-highest in the league overall.

I see the argument of the anti-Rask forces, but the question has to be asked about what exactly the point of their criticisms are. If it’s simply that Tuukka still has unfinished business on his resume before he can be considered in the pantheon of all-time greats, I agree. But if it’s something deeper—like cutting loose his salary and going with Anton Khudobin, I’d have to sharply disagree.

Any litany of Tuukka’s shortcomings has to be balanced with a litany of his postseason successes:

  • Save percentage is a great stat and I rely on it, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. A good example is Tuukka’s 89.9% save rate in the first-round series win over Toronto. If you just look at the numbers, that’s not good. But if you watched the series you saw how many shots were coming at home from point-blank range. The bigger story was how often Bruin defenders were beaten to a good spot near the net—and how often Rask bailed them out.
  • There aren’t many goaltenders good enough to single-handedly win you a playoff series. But that’s what Rask did in 2014, in the first-round series win over Detroit.
  • Even fewer goaltenders can do what Rask did in 2013, which was to essentially shut down the potent Pittsburgh Penguins lineup, filled with quite a few of the same players who won the last two Stanley Cups. Boston’s sweep of Pittsburgh in that ‘13 Finals was defined by Rask’s superiority.

What these successes (above) illustrate is that while Tuukka Raask may have some spots on his postseason resume, he’s not the NHL equivalent of David Price. Tuukka doesn’t fold up in the biggest moments, he just hasn’t quite gotten over the hump.

So the question that has to be asked of Rask critics is simply this: do you think it more likely that Rask will finally have the one great postseason where he takes it start to finish and wins a Stanley Cup. Or, on the other hand, if the Bruins do move on, that we’ll find that Khudobin won’t be able to handle a full-time workload and we’ll have a full-scale goalie mess on?

I think the answer to that question is self-evident.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. All we know for sure is that Tuukka Rask isn’t the second coming of Patrick Roy or Martin Broduer when it comes to playoff performance. But Rask is still better than an awful lot of goalies who have won Stanley Cups.

Dan Flaherty is the owner of TheSportsNotebook.com and the author of Great 1980s Sports Moments

Bruins Top Maple Leafs In Dramatic Game Seven, Advance To Tampa Bay

jake-debrusk_f04aych4tji91pd8f1zztkg71

Jake DeBrusk recorded two goals in Boston’s Game 7 win over Toronto on Wednesday evening at the TD Garden. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sporting News)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Jake DeBrusk netted a pair of goals, including the go-ahead strike early in the third period as the Boston Bruins erased a one-goal deficit to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 7-4, in the final game of their opening round playoff series.

With the win, Boston advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals where they will face the Tampa Bay Lighting, which won its opening round series against the New Jersey Devils in five games.

Boston and Tampa Bay last met in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, which the Bruins won in seven games. Boston would then advance to the Stanley Cup and defeat the Vancouver Canucks in seven games.

Boston trailed Toronto, 4-3, after two periods, but evened the game 70 seconds into the final session with a goal from Torey Krug. Boston would push ahead minutes later with a goal from DeBrusk before David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand sealed the win by netting the Bruins’ sixth and seventh goals, respectively.

Pastrnak’s goal halfway through the final session helped the Bruins clinch the series and halt a two-game postseason losing streak. The Bruins led the best-of-seven game series, 3-1, but fell to Toronto in back-to-back games, including Game 5, which occurred last weekend at the T.D. Garden.

Both teams swapped goals throughout the opening frame before Patrice Bergeron provided the hosts with a 3-2 advantage heading into the first intermission. Toronto erased the deficit in the second period and pushed ahead with back-to-back goals from Travis Dermott and Kasperi Kapanen to secure a 4-3 lead after two periods.

Boston and Tampa Bay met four times this season with the Bruins winning three meetings, including two games last month.

The second round series between the two teams is scheduled to commence on Saturday, April 28th at 3 p.m. in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, May 2nd

kevin_shattenkirk_capitals.jpg

Washington’s Kevin Shattenkirk netted the game-winning goal in overtime last night to provide the Capitals with their first Eastern Conference semifinal victory against Pittsburgh. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sports Illustrated)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It’s Tuesday … what rhymes with Tuesday?

There really isn’t much to say about a Tuesday other than it’s not Monday, right?

Well, while we try to find good words to rhyme with Tuesday, let’s dish out today’s Daily Noontime for Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017.

Have a great day, everyone!

So, you probably know by now that the Cleveland Cavaliers dominated game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Toronto. However, did you know LeBron James picked-up a beer during the third quarter?

Don’t worry, James didn’t drink it, but he admitted after the game that he prefers wine, not beer. Pretty funny stuff, LBJ! 

Continuing with our lead-off story, here are a few tweets of James picking-up a beer during last night’s contest against Toronto (BELOW!): 

If you’re a Netflix fan (or subscriber like we are), then we suggest you check-out this New York Times article on what new shows and movies one should watch over the next few days and weeks – we spy a new season of ‘House of Cards!’

In case you’re not officially over this past weekend’s N.F.L. Draft, then we suggest you take a peak (and even read the entire article, too) on the draft’s biggest winners and losers, via the Washington Post

Speaking of the N.F.L. Draft, does anyone know how the Cleveland Browns did? Michael Silver, who is the NFL.com Media Columnist, has a few thoughts (and ideas!). 

Finally, can the Utah Jazz beat the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals? We think they can and so does Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report

Trivia Tuesday: In the movie ‘The Wizards of Oz,’ what did the scarecrow want from the wizard? (Tweet us your answer at @NoontimeSports). 

Video of the Day: It’s a LONG video – just giving you a heads-up now, so don’t watch this when your boss is around – but enjoy highlights via NHL’s YouTube channel from last night’s epic third game of the Eastern Conference semifinals between Pittsburgh and Washington – what a game, wow! 

Thanks for checking-in and have a great day, everyone! Remember to become a fan on Facebook and LinkedIn, while following us on Twitter, too. And we’re on YouTube, by the way, so become a fan of our page today! 

« Older Entries