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After what felt like forever, the puck will finally drop next weekend for the Boston Bruins and their fans.
Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards — one of those getting ready to get back to work after the lockout– joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday to discuss what kind of shape this Bruins team might be in, netminder Tuukka Rask, and the condition of forward Nathan Horton.
Edwards hasn’t called an NHL level game since last April. How long will it take for him to re-acquaint himself with the game after so much time off?
“Brick (Andy Brickley) and I did a BU/BC game in November and after the first period I took my headset off and turned to him and I said, ‘man I feel like I’ve been chasing the puck the whole time,’” said Edwards. “And this is only college, because in the NHL is about 30-percent faster than that. I’m going to be going to some practices and I’ll be busy.”
The discussion moved to the Bruins, who had more players lace them up in Europe than any other team during the lockout. Will that, and the fact the team is pretty much the same from last season, be an advantage for the Bruins once the season gets underway?
“It’s going to really important for this Bruins team to capitalize on what should be an advantage,” he said. “That is the stability of Claude Julien’s system, the familiarity the players have with themselves, and the fact that so many players have been at it already.”
They moved on to some question regarding certain players and whether they’ll be ready to go. Tuukka Rask will be looked upon to take on a bigger role in the net, but some are asking is he ready?
“He’s worked his whole athletic career for this,” Edwards said of Rask. “It’s not as if he’s a timid guy, it’s not as if he somebody who has never looked for the biggest platform. Now he’s got it and it’s clearly his and he know he has questions that he’s going to have to answer about his durability and his physical robustness.”
They also talked about Nathan Horton and his battle with concussions. Horton missed the final 36 games of the regular season after suffering his second concussion in a seven-month span in January. Will Horton be playing a regular role in 2013?
“My guess is that Nathan Horton is going to come back and go 100-percent,” said Edwards. “The extended rest he got because of being shutdown last year and then the lockout may end up being a blessing in disguise for him personally, because we all know concussions are very tricky things. Just ask Sidney Crosby and anyone who follows him.”