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Bruins play-by-play man Jack Edwards sees this series going the distance.
“It’s obviously going to go Six, but I think it’s going to go Seven,” Edwards told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich Friday morning.
After losing both home games to start the series, the Bruins were left for dead with little chance at advancing to the second round. Now that the B’s have taken two in Montreal, it is a best-of-three series with two of the games in Boston.
“You have to think at some point a home team would win a game,” the NESN commentator added.
“I saw a lot of stunned fans,” Edwards said of the Montreal faithful after the loss. “If you put the shoe on the other foot, how would Bruins fans feel if, at home, they dropped leads of 1-0, 3-1, 4-3, never trailed and then lost the game to drop two in a row at home?”
Edwards has come under fire in Montreal for his exuberant calls and “homer-ism” during games. Some Montreal fans believe it was Edward’s call after Montreal’s 3-2 overtime victory in January that instigated Zdeno Chara to check Max Pacioretty, who bumped Chara after scoring the game winner in the January matchup, into the boards later in the season.
That is an accusation Edwards laughed off.
“Because Chara really listens carefully to everything I say,” said Edwards. “They seriously overrate the importance of a play-by-play commentator, don’t they?”
That is just one of the examples that shows Montreal’s passion for their hockey team. Although they tend to go overboard at times, Edwards knows the Candiens are a true symbol of Montreal’s culture.
“The most public representation of the culture is the hockey team,” he said. “It’s also the thing that has had the most obvious success. They are going to defend that with all their passion and might, much as Red Sox fans would defend the Red Sox against the Yankees.”
“It’s a symbol of the city and in a lot of ways it’s a symbol of the French-Canadian culture,” added Edwards. “I’m behind that because it fuels the passion that stokes the fan base for the hockey team, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Another “symbol” of Canadiens hockey, at least to Bruins fans, is their tendency to take a dive to draw a penalty. Although Edwards is one of the loudest voices against flopping in hockey, he says the Bruins most heated rival is not the only team guilty of it.
“It’s not unique to the Montreal Canadiens, but they are a team that has earned a reputation of going forward over a stick when the guy is going off for a hooking call,” he said. “If you’re getting hooked, you’re not falling forward. That’s just the way it is.”
“If people take offense to that, I certainly welcome their opinion,” he continued. “But I have hours and hours of video of players all over the NHL, including distastefully, a couple of times Boston Bruins players have done it. And we have taken an issue with that on the air. Not as loudly, but we have also said that’s not the type of behavior you want to see because it’s patently dishonest. It’s actually a form of lying.”
“It offends me, not just as a fan of hockey but as a human being because that’s no way to conduct yourself,” said Edwards. “It’s lying, and lying at any level just doesn’t cut it.”