Daily Noontime – April 25, 2012

Sasha Pavlovic paced the Celtics with 16 points, as Boston defeated Miami, 78-66! (Photo Credit: TheBestBasketballBlog.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy “hump day” and welcome into another outstanding edition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s kickstart the day with some news and headlines!

* Despite no Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, Boston still managed to defeat the Miami Heat on Tuesday, 78-66. Sasha Pavlovic paced the Celtics with 16 points, while Marquis Daniels added 13 points off the bench.

* Boston will conclude its 66-game slate on Thursday when they welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to the TD Garden. Boston is currently 38-27 in the Eastern Conference, and will most likely begin their first round series against Atlanta on the road, as the Hawks have a better record than the Celtics.

Josh Beckett earned his second win of the 2012 season, as Boston defeated Minnesota, 11-2. Mike Aviles, who hit leadoff, finished the contest with three runs, four hits, two RBIs and one home run, while David Ortiz cranked his third long ball of the season.

* Boston will conclude their three-game series with Minnesota on Wednesday at 8:10pm — Clay Buchholz will oppose Liam Hendriks.

* According to reports – Carl Crawford is seeking a second set of eyes to look at his left elbow. The Red Sox outfielder had returned to Florida to continue his rehab assignment on Tuesday, and according to the manager, there really isn’t anything else to report.

* Boston and Washington will skate for the final time on Wednesday in Game No. 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The winner will advance to the semi-finals.

* Sources confirmed that Patrice Bergeron sat out of Tuesday’s practice, but is expected to be in the line-up for Boston. Also, Alex Ovechkin has told reporters that he’s unhappy about the amount of ice time he’s experienced in this particular series.

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 22, 2012

Sad news was confirmed on Tuesday evening, as Tom Brady's mentor Tom Martinez died on his 66th birthday. (Photo Credit: Gridironfans.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy “Hump Day” everyone, and welcome into yet another tremendous edition of the Daily Noontime. Here are some headlines and news swirling throughout the city of Boston, as well as New England.

* On Tuesday evening, sources confirmed that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s mentor Tom Martinez passed away on his 66th birthday. The two formed a bond when Martinez began assisting Brady with his mechanics in high school before the quarterback went onto the University of Michigan and New England. Brady kept in contact with his mentor over the past few years, and was quoted for saying, “I’m forever indebted to him.”

* Day Two of the Boston Red Sox spring training is set to begin on Wednesday morning, and according to sources, designated hitter David Ortiz has arrived in Fort Myers, and expected to take part in a team workouts on Thursday, which is when other positional players are expected to report, too.

* The Boston Bruins will return to the ice on Wednesday evening when they skate against the St. Louis Blues. The Black and Gold have lost two of their last three contests, and were recently blanked by the Minnesota Wild this past weekend for the sixth time this season.

* Patrice Bergeron told the media on Tuesday that he and his teammates aren’t expecting GM Peter Chiarelli to pull the trigger and acquire a necessary piece for the Bruins offense or defense before the NHL trade deadline. Boston has won four of their last 10 contests, and appears confident with the current squad in the locker room.

Carolina Sweeps Season Series Against Boston

 

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, MA – It’s never enjoyable to be on the losing end in sports, especially against a last place team in the Eastern Conference, ahem… the Carolina Hurricanes.

Boston proved they’re vulnerable Thursday evening at the TD Garden, as a full capacity crowd watched their hometown Bruins struggle immensely, and earn an ugly 3-0 beating.

“Yeah I think sometimes we’re working, [but] we’re not working smart and there’s a fine line there, and we’re not doing that right, it’s obvious,” said a disgusted Patrice Bergeron.

The Bruins center continued by saying, “We know where to be on the ice, we know how to execute, we know the system and we’re just not doing it. We’re just not in sync and it shows.”

Despite following the “so-called” system, the Black and Gold tallied 47 shots on net in a span of 60 minutes, (22 in the first period and 20 in the third period), but didn’t send a puck past Carolina goaltender Cam Ward, who earned his third shutout of his NHL career against Boston.

“I felt like I was seeing the puck well and for the most part,” said Ward. “I was really happy with my rebound control and we had to get off to a good start because we know that they play extremely hard, especially in their building, [but] to walk away out of the first period with a 1-0 lead, we felt good about that and improved our play in the second period.”

Boston also didn’t compliment Tuukka Rask, who recorded 28-saves between the pipes, and allowed one goal in each period.

“We had a lot of shots, but we just let them see the puck pretty well and didn’t go to the net too hard at times and, you know, let them get those easy shots. But, you know, I mean, tough game,” said Rask.

Carolina has now won six contests on the road this year, two of them in Boston’s barn, which certainly is a red flag for head coach Claude Julien, who appeared quite dumbfounded after his Boston’s eighth loss at home.

“There are certain teams during certain years that will give you a hard time, and they have. They’ve played us well, and they’ve made it hard on us, [but] at the same time, they’ve come in here with lots of confidence, [and] they beat us the last three games, I’d say pretty soundly, and so that’s what the situation is,” said Julien.

The season sweep marks the first time in Carolina history that the franchise has defeated the Bruins in a regular season series, too.

“Tonight we were just really bad. We just didn’t play well,” said Boston’s captain Zdeno Chara. “[It was] just a really bad night for us.”

The Bruins will look to bounce back, and recover from their awful performance on Saturday when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 1:00pm matinee.

Daily Noontime – January 25, 2012

Mathieu Perreault recorded three goals on Tuesday, which helped the Capitals defeat the Bruins, 5-3! (Photo Credit: BayNews9.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Wednesday to everyone, and welcome into yet another grand and stupendous edition of the Daily Noontime! Here are some headlines and news, enjoy.

* The Boston Bruins didn’t exactly play their best hockey on Tuesday, as the Washington Capitals handed the Black and Gold a 5-3 loss in the nation’s capital. Mathieu Perreault recorded a hat-trick for the Capitals, while Patrice Bergeron ended the game with two assists for the Bruins. Boston will return to the ice next Tuesday when they welcome Ottawa to the TD Garden.

* According to sources – New York Yankees catcher and designated hitter Jorge Posada has officially decided to retire, and won’t return to the diamond this spring when his Bronx Bombers face the Boston Red Sox.

* The Boston Celtics are one day away from traveling to Florida to face the Orlando Magic. The Green and White held the Magic to their lowest scoring total of the season on Monday, which was 56 points. Boston is currently on a two-game winning streak.

* Finally, in college hoops last night, Boston University’s men’s basketball team defeated UMBC, 83-48. The Terriers are currently 11-11 overall, and 7-1 in American East play.