In the most recent Bruins Beat podcast on CLNS Media, host Evan Marinofsky sat down with Jack Edwards, the play-by-play announcer for the Boston Bruins. Edwards has been the voice of the Bruins since 2006, working road games for two years before being hired as the full-time play-by-play announcer.
For the second part of this two-part series with Edwards, Marinofsky asked Edwards who his favorite and least-favorite Bruins teams have been to cover in his 13 years.
“2014 was a lot of fun,” Edwards said, “because they were coming off the Game 6 loss to Chicago, and they came back just with something to prove.”
In the 2013-14 NHL season, following their loss in the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Bruins claimed the President’s Trophy for the best record in the regular season with 117 points.
“That team buried opponents.”
Edwards said he remembers one night during a road trip, the media personnel were all aboard the Bruins charter plane, and he said to Dave Goucher, who was the play-by-play announcer for the Bruins on the radio at that time, “this is the good old days.”
“They had swagger, they had depth, they had talent, and they had the misfortune to run into Carey Price at the summit of his skills,” Edwards said, as the squad’s chance for a second shot at the Cup Final was cut short by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the playoffs.
“That team was so much fun because they knew that was one of the last times that band was gonna be together no matter what, even if they won the Cup.”
As for his least favorite team to cover in his time at NESN, it was a sure answers. “The Dave Lewis year.”
The Bruins went 35-41-6 in 2006-07, with Dave Lewis at the helm as their head coach for that year and that year only. His time was short-lived with the team, and his atrocious record had general manager Peter Chiarelli send him packing in that off-season.
Edwards brought up Patrice Bergeron’s plus/minus statistic for that season, which was a horrifying -28; given his second-lowest plus/minus statistic is only +2, the 2006-07 season was quite the anomaly.
Marinofsky asked Edwards what made the team so bad then, and Edwards pointed out the rule Claude Julien, the next head coach, would enforce above all else: “protect the house,” meaning to play from the goaltender and net outward, or, simply put, “the best offense is a good defense.”
“They didn’t protect the house under Lewis; they were always trying to do too much, and individuals took it upon themselves to take that to an extreme,” Edwards said. “As a result, they broke down. They gave up probably more odd-man rushes than any team in the league that season and it was an unmitigated disaster.”
When Marinofsky asked Edwards if there was ever a point in that season he didn’t want to go to work because of the state of the team, Edwards had his emphatic answer before Marinofsky could even finish. “No. No. No. Never.”
He said he’s never felt that way his entire career. “I know if I get that feeling—if I ever get it—that it’s time to pull the ripcord. Put somebody in the booth who can get up for every game.
“If I can’t get up for every game, why should any channel surfer stop?”