Noontime Rewind: Boston Sports Teams of the 2010s

NSBostonSports2010s

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

Welcome to the first Noontime Sports rewind post, which will recap the current year of New England (and Boston) sports as well as look back on the soon-to-be past decade of blogging for NoontimeSports.com.

In this particular post, we highlighted our favorite Boston sports teams that we covered (and chronicled) through the site – there were some fun teams to watch and others that made us sick to our stomach over the past nine-to-ten years.

We hope you enjoy this look back at the soon-to-be past decade of Boston sports, which certainly kept us busy, both here on the site and social media.


The Best New England Patriots Team of the 2010s: The 2014 New England Patriots. Sure, you can make the case for the 2016 squad, which overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons or the 2018 squad, which outsmarted Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams, but in my opinion, the 2014 squad was the best Pats team of the 2010s. Between the offense and the defense and just the way they manhandled teams after losing to Kansas City, this particular Patriots squad was perhaps one of the best teams under current head coach Bill Belichick.

One of the most impressive games this team played was against the Baltimore Ravens in the second round of the postseason. They ran a few tricky plays, including one that saw Julian Edelman throw a touchdown pass to a streaking Danny Amendola. Additionally, they stole a play from Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, which infuriated Baltimore coach John Harbaugh.

But the cherry on top of the sundae was the Malcolm Butler interception on a potential go-ahead touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Butler will be forever linked to that play – the result ignited an animated (and giddy) celebration by Tom Brady and … Jimmy Garoppolo.


The Best Boston Red Sox Team of the 2010s: The 2013 Boston Red Sox. Following the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, our city became enamored with the local nine, especially after David Ortiz delivered a heartfelt speech just days after the horrendous attacks. Ortiz’s words would be the catalyst for a magical season that concluded with a World Series victory at historic Fenway Park.

Boston, which went from worst (2012) to first (2013), concluded the 2013 campaign with 97 wins. They beat the Tampa Bay Rays in four games before topping the heavily-favored Detroit Tigers in six games. Shane Victorino hit a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh in game six before Koji Uehara shut the door on a possible rally in the top of the ninth.

The win over the Tigers secured the Sox their third American League crown, as well as their third appearance in the World Series in 10 seasons.

Against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Red Sox overcame a 2-1 deficit by winning the fourth, fifth, and sixth games to clinch the series and win their first championship in Boston in 95 years.


The Best Boston Bruins Team of the 2010s: The 2011 Boston Bruins. If the Bruins won the Stanley Cup earlier this year, I would have chosen that team, but instead, I’ll play it safe and go with the squad that won the Stanley Cup eight years ago.

After seeing the 2010 squad collapse in the second round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers, I was unsure if the 2011 Bruins would be able to make myself (and other Black and Gold fans) proud. But they certainly did.

Their Cup run began with an epic game seven overtime win in the opening round against the Montreal Canadiens, thanks to Nathan Horton. One round later, Boston erased memories of a dreadful collapse from one year earlier by sending the Flyers home with four-straight wins (it was sweet revenge, in my opinion!).

But perhaps Boston’s most impressive win came against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, especially in the seventh game. Horton netted the lone goal of the contest, while Tim Thomas, who won the Vezina Trophy, stopped every shot he faced.

“I’m just happy to see the guys smiling in the dressing room,” coach Claude Julien said to the media following the exciting one-goal win over the Lighting of Tampa Bay.

Those ‘smiles’ would not disappear as those same grins reemerged days later after the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in six games to win their sixth championship in franchise history.

The win over the Canucks was exciting – it was also the team’s third game seven victory of the 2011 postseason, which was the most game seven wins by any team in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Unfortunately, their win over Vancouver did not result in a few more titles as Boston would lose in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and seven games to the St. Louis Blues in 2019.


The Best Boston Celtics Team of the 2010s: The 2017-18 Boston Celtics. After winning their 17th championship in June 2008, the Celtics have yet to return to top of the mountain but have had chances, including ten years after they beat the Los Angeles Lakers in six games when the Green and White almost beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Boston was without Kyrie Irving who missed the entire postseason, as well as Gordon Hayward, who suffered a serious end-of-season injury during the team’s initial game of the 2017-18 campaign, which happened to be against the Cavaliers. So, without two of the league’s marquee players, the Celtics turned to both their veteran and youth players to go on an exciting run, which included wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers (4-1).

Against Cleveland, Boston won the series’ first two games before losing four of the next five contests. They had chances to beat James and the Cavaliers in each of the final five contests, but the youth and inexperience eventually caught-up with the Green and White, who have been really fun to watch this season.

What made this particular postseason run so much fun was the play of both Brown and Tatum, along with Al Horford, Marcus Smart, and Marcus Morris.

New England College Notebook: WNE Starts Women’s Ice Hockey, Nichols Names Linton Men’s Basketball Coach

NS NEW ENG COLL NOTEBOOK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Just hours before the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues squared-off in the seventh game of the 2019 Stanley Cup FinalsWestern New England announced some exciting news that they would be adding women’s ice hockey, the school’s 20th varsity sport, during the 2020-21 school year.

The exciting news of the school adding women’s ice hockey was shared by Matt LaBranche, Western New England’s Director of Athletics, Recreational Sport & Physical Education, who looking forward to seeing the team compete in 2020.

“Interest at the high school and youth levels has never been higher, and we are proud to be providing a new opportunity for those young women to pursue their passion in a highly competitive collegiate program,” said LaBranche in Wednesday’s press release about the women’s ice hockey team.

LaBranche also announced the hiring of Katie Zimmerman, who becomes the first head coach in the program’s history. Zimmerman previously served as an assistant at nearby Amherst College and has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.

Zimmerman also played Division III hockey for Hamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

According to Wednesday’s release, Western New England will join 66 other colleges that sponsor women’s ice hockey at the Division III level.

Nichols College announced on Thursday that Brandon Linton has been named the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.

Linton replaces Scott Faucher, who guided the Bison to 28-3 record this past winter, including an appearance in the NCAA Division III sectional finals (elite eight).

Faucher was recently named the new men’s basketball coach at Assumption College.

Linton arrives in Dudley after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Army West Point where he “was responsible for the development of scouting reports on opponents and managing the scout team,” along with additional duties, as well.

“Nichols College is a special institution that offers a world-class experience for our student-athletes both on and off of the court,” said Linton in Thursday’s release. “I cannot wait to begin the process of getting to know our current players and continuing to build on the foundation they have created.”

Linton is no stranger to Division III basketball as he played for Clarkson University in the Liberty League (LL) and spent time as an assistant under coach Tim Gilbride at Bowdoin College.

Finally, congratulations to former Babson College men’s ice hockey assistant coach Chris Zimmerman, who recently celebrated a Stanley Cup championship on Wednesday evening with the St. Louis Blues.

Zimmerman, who President and CEO of Business Operations for the Blues, played hockey at the University of Vermont in the Hockey East before pursuing his MBA at Babson.


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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

Daily Noontime: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Daily Noontime 2019

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

As noted yesterday, the Daily Noontime has returned for good, so let’s kick-start your day with some news and notes from the New England (and possibly national) sports world.

Have a great day, everyone!


In the News | Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 


Wednesday’s Sports Viewing ScheduleHere is what we will be watching today!

  • Baseball: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m.

In Case You Missed ItWe wrote about the Edelman contract extension, as well as the possibility of keeping one of our all-time favorite Patriots in uniform for the next few years!

We’ll be back for more news and notes from the New England (and national) sports world tomorrow – have a great day, everyone!