Though we often take shots at NBC coverage of Caps games, it’s playful ribbing of a shared suffering that all hockey fans endure sometimes. We are fully aware that there are worse fates, like being stuck watching on NESN with Jack Edwards commenting.
While Bruins fans seem to like him well enough, that’s not as much the case among fans of other teams, or those who value commentating that reflects what is actually happening on the ice. Case in point: Edwards’ radio appearance with WEEI after Game 3, wherein he describes a game and a series clearly occupying a reality separate from our own.
Edwards on Braden Holtby:
[The Bruins] did get more physical and they showed some creativity in getting puck to the front. They got guys there when they needed to, and they exposed Braden Holtby as a pretty good AHL goalie, which is what he is right now. He’s certainly not a top-flight NHL goalie.
On Dennis Seidenberg and his physical match-up with Alex Ovechkin:
What a stud this guy is. He actually relishes these incredible collisions with Ovechkin. They’re like the executive desk toy, the ones with the balls that you bang together, and they bang off in opposite directions. There have been at least half a dozen world-class collisions between those guys in the first three games, and Seidenberg comes away smiling saying yeah, this is really fun.
Edwards’ token “Dale Hunter was dirty” comment, plus suspicions that Dale may be spirit-walking in his players’ bodies:
Inevitably, teams reflect the personality of their head coach. There’s really no way around it in professional sports. You’re living together, in essence, every single day for six, eight, nine months at the time, someone’s tendencies tend to to wear off on you. Nicklas Backstrom has never done what he did, but he cross-checked Peverley right across the face, and you gotta suspend that, everyone is expecting him to get suspended for it. Hunter was one of the dirtiest players in NHL history. He was also one of those rare guys who was a very skilled, very dirty player, so that kind of masked his dirtiness. That’s like saying he was an assassin, but he was a really good shot.
The Shea Weber-Ovechkin connection:
The more difficult [disciplinary decisions] are for instance, the Shea Weber thing, because what a lot of people overlook was that Zetterberg ran Weber! We made mention of that last night, that Ovechkin at the end of the game ran Rich Peverley. There’s one second to go in the game, the puck is 200 feet away from where Washington needs it to be, and Ovechkin, instead of going in and trying to find the puck in his skates — he didn’t clobber him, but he hit him pretty hard above the waist, totally unnecessary to do that kind of thing. So Shanahan is in a tough spot.
On Brad Marchand and his diving:
I didn’t like the way he exaggerated the last time he went down, I can’t remember the exact instance of it, but I remember saying that it looked exaggerated. Marchand is tough player, and he is a guy who’s not afraid to go into any situation, but the referees know that as well, and he doesn’t need to embellish anything. He earns the number of power plays that he puts the Bruins on with his toughness, his aggression, and his willingness to get his nose dirty and/or broken. I don’t like the embellishment even a little bit, I think it detracts from the way the Bruins play. I don’t know if anyone spoke to him about it today, they didn’t skate, or if they’re going to talk to him about it tomorrow, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.
On the Caps’ discipline:
I think perhaps the most compelling dynamic of last night’s game, is that if you look at all three games, the Bruins have been getting better, and Washington has not been getting better. Washington came out locked down, loaded in Game One, and the Bruins really didn’t know how to bust into that hardened bunker, if you will. But the Bruins have been figuring that out, and they have been getting more and more physical, and I’m pleased at the lack of discipline shown by Washington.
The lack of discipline shown by Washington may be an indication that they are beginning to crack under the pressure the Bruins are bringing to bear.
Thanks to CSN Washington, let’s take a look at all the times the Capitals have cracked under the Bruins’ intense pressure.
Sigh. We like “New Jack” Edwards much more.
Additional reporting by Ian Oland.