Tag: TD Garden

Noontime Commentary: Returning To The Microphone

Posing for a photo on the field following the conclusion of the first ABCD Field of Dreams contest.

By Matt Noonan

It was worth the wait.

After a 465 day hiatus, I finally was able to pick up a microphone and lend my voice as a backdrop for a local sporting event here in Massachusetts. And it was an amazing feeling.

Being able to announce this morning’s Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Field of Dreams contest between Massachusetts General Brigham and the Boston All-Stars at Fenway Park was exciting — in fact, it was the most fun I have had on the microphone since I started calling sporting events as a student at Wheaton College (Mass.).

Yes, I have announced this event in the past, along with the organization’s “Hoop Dreams” outing at the TD Garden, but this morning’s contest provided me with a sense of hope and renewal for future coverage in the “new normal” — I am already counting the days until to my next PA announcing gig while circling while plotting my return to the sidelines to cover future college and high school sporting events.

Like many, the past 14-to-15 months was a struggle, both mentally and emotionally — to be honest, I was unsure what I would produce for the blog and podcast when various leagues were sent to the sidelines at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. But despite so much uncertainty, I remained hopeful and optimistic — I knew I would return to the microphone one day, and that day happened to be this morning: Wednesday, June 16, 2021.

It was just one game, but it was the best game that I have announce in 2021.

Does Bruce Cassidy Know There Was A New York Saints Team?

The New York Saints competed in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) from 1989 to 2003. (PHOTO COURTESY: SportsLogos.net)

By Matt Noonan

Bruce Cassidy did not hold back his emotions last night, especially after the Boston Bruins saw their comeback fall short to the New York Islanders at the TD Garden.

New York defeated Boston, 5-4, to secure a 3-2 series lead heading into tomorrow’s match-up — the Bruins need a win to extend the series to Friday. A win by the Islanders would clinch the series and set up a Stanley Cup Playoffs semifinal matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning or Carolina Hurricanes (Tampa Bay current leads the series, 3-1).

Speaking with members of the media shortly after Monday’s contest concluded, Cassidy, who is in his fifth season as the head coach of the Boston Bruins, shared some interesting thoughts regarding the one-goal loss, specifically about the officiating while referring to his opponent as the “New York Saints.”

“I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders,” Cassidy told reporters when referring to calls that supposedly went in favor of his opponent, not the Bruins. “The exact calls that are getting called on us are not getting called on them. I don’t know why. You got the exact same high sticks … you just hope they’d see them.”

Cassidy’s post-game comments resulted in a $25,000 fine this morning, but his remarks about the “New York Saints” made me wonder if he knew there was an actual team — well, franchise, to be exact — that once competed in the National Lacrosse League (NLL)?

The New York Saints were indeed a team — in fact, they began as the New Jersey Saints. They were one of four teams to compete in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MLL), which would be renamed the National Lacrosse League (NLL) in 1998, and won their only championship in 1988 when they beat the Washington Wave, according to the league’s website. They would fall short of a repeat one year later when they lost to the Philadelphia Wings by a score of 11-10.

Unfortunately, the Saints would not return to the title game following their one-goal setback to Philadelphia in 1989 but did appear in the semifinals in 1990 and 1997. Their time with the league would conclude in 2003 after winning three of 16 contests.

So, the New York Saints were indeed a franchise — they were not a made-up team — but sadly, they won’t be competing against Cassidy’s squad tomorrow evening in Uniondale, New York.

Commentary: Momentum Is On The Boston Bruins’ Side

Craig Smith’s game-winning goal on Wednesday provided the Boston Bruins with a 2-1 series lead against the Washington Capitals. (PHOTO COURTESY: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Matt Noonan

It’s hard to not think about round two of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, especially after an exciting (and thrilling) 3-2 double-overtime win last night by the Boston Bruins.

Yes, they need to win two more games against the Washington Capitals before advancing further in the postseason, but Wednesday’s hard-fought victory has provided the Black and Gold with all the momentum heading into the fourth game of their opening-round series.

Game four is tomorrow evening at the TD Garden — it is a tremendous opportunity for the Bruins to position themselves for a series-clinching win on Sunday in Washington.

At times, it appeared as if the Bruins had nothing left in the tank last night — to be honest, I was worried that Nic Dowd‘s goal at 18:15 in the second period would wind up being the eventual game-winner, but somehow the Bruins found a way to even the score at 2-2 with a much-needed (and important) power-play goal by Brad Marchand in the third period before Craig Smith sealed the win in the second overtime period.

Smith’s goal will certainly provide the Bruins with a spark tomorrow evening — I wouldn’t be surprised if Friday’s outing results in a non-overtime win by the Black and Gold. Yet, the way this series has gone thus far, a one-goal victory should be expected.

Game four is an important one for both teams, but especially the Capitals — this is a must-win for the Red, White, and Blue. A loss to Boston would present a serious challenge for coach Peter Laviolette‘s squad as they would have to win games five, six, and seven to clinch the series.

Sure, Peter Laviolette has prior experience leading a team past Boston — does anyone remember 2010? — but I don’t think this Washington squad is equipped to win three-straight contests.

As expected, Boston Bruins playoff hockey has been fun, but also nerve-racking at the same time. Sometimes, I just wish most of their shots would sail into the Washington net, so we would not have to play overtime hockey. But after last night’s one-goal victory, I am thinking optimistically about tomorrow’s contest — in fact, I believe we’re going to win.

Let the countdown for Friday’s early evening affair commence — I hope the hometown fans are ready to do their part in helping the Bruins win their third-straight contest so we can possibly celebrate a series-clinching win late Sunday evening.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Doesn’t Think Its Safe To Welcome Back Sports

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh doesn’t believe it is safe to welcome back pro sports to the city. (PHOTO COURTESY: Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

By Matt Noonan

There’s no doubt that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh would like to welcome back sports – he even said he would be willing to reopen Fenway Park and the TD Garden earlier this month with no fans. But as of this afternoon, Walsh believes its best to keep teams on the sidelines as the state and city slowly begin to reopen.

“As much as I would love to watch our pro teams play right now, we really have to put the health and safety of (the) Boston residents first,” Walsh said during his daily press briefing. “As I have said before, if pro teams (and) sports come back, it will be very different than what we’re used to.

“I don’t think right now we’re where in a place where we’ll have fans watching and cheering from the stands, (but) we also have to think about the health of the players and the players traveling from other places. Teams could look into things like temperature checks and testing to limit the spread amongst players and staff. Any proposals of teams will have to be matched with the proper health and safety protocol to make both staff and players feel comfortable with their plans.”

While Walsh’s announcement shouldn’t impact the Boston Celtics – if basketball were to resume, games would be held in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports – it could be an issue for the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox.

The NHL is planning to provide its fans with an update this afternoon about restarting games while the MLB is trying to get a deal done between its players and owners. And if a deal is reached, it’s likely the Red Sox would play home games in Fort Myers, not Boston.

“We’ll keep fans posted as soon as decisions are made,” said Walsh.

The Bruins and Celtics last played in Boston in early March while the Red Sox’s last home game occurred against the Baltimore Orioles on September 29, 2019.

Daily Noontime: Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

DNMarch25th2020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Welcome to Wednesday, everyone!

I hope you are ALL doing well, staying safe and of course, keeping a smile on your face – we will get through this time together, I promise.

Let’s kick off the day with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ – again, remember to smile and think positively, friends.


Noontime’s Headlines for Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 

  • As mentioned yesterday in our midday ‘Daily Noontime,’ Tom Brady was officially introduced as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers via a phone conference, not an in-person press conference due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). And shortly after Brady was introduced as the newest member of the Buccaneers, the team produced a video on their YouTube channel that broke down/provided some insight on the greatest quarterback (ever!).
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians told members of the media in yesterday’s phone call – well, the team’s phone conference with the press, to be exact – that he never thought Brady would leave the New England Patriots.

    “We had him ranked No. 1,” Arians said in yesterday’s call with the media. “If it happened, we would make a concerted effort and we did.”

  • With a slew of key members of the 20019 Patriots team gone to free agency, the organization is expected to receive four compensatory draft picks in 2021, which is good news, right?
  • According to the Boston Globe, ushers at the TD Garden have been laid off, due to the coronavirus. These part-time employees received a letter about the layoffs, as noted in the USA Today, and could be eligible for unemployment benefits.

    This is awful news to hear (and learn about), so we hope things do work out for these men and women during these unusual, but very tough times.

  • Finally, the NFL Network has been “forced to temporarily pull its live programing” due to an order by California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has ordered the state’s residents to stay home due to the coronavirus. Like us here in Massachusetts, California is allowing those that work jobs that are deemed essential to continue working, while others are asked to work from home.

On This Date in History

  • 1947: Holy Cross men’s basketball won the ninth NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship – the Crusaders beat Oklahoma, 58-47, to secure the program’s first victory in the title game.
  • 1971: The Boston Patriots became the New England Patriots.
  • 1972: Bobby Hull becomes the second NHL skaters to score 600 goals.
  • 1972: UCLA captured the 34th NCAAMen’s Basketball Championship with an 81-76 win over Florida. The victory provided the Bruins with their sixth-straight title, while Bill Walton was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.
  • 1982: Wayne Gretzky becomes the first NHL skaters to score 200 points in a season.