Lately I’ve been trying to tone down the Jack Edwards bashing on this blog. It’s beyond going after the low-hanging fruit; it’s more like picking up the half-eaten fruit that’s already fallen on the ground and, frankly, looks a bit shabby.
But what he did today has to be considered inexcusable. With about eight seconds to go in a one-goal game and St. Louis’ goalie pulled, Carlo Colaiacovo picked up a dump-in and began to rush up ice in a last-ditch effort to salvage overtime.
“Eight seconds left,” said Edwards. “It’ll take a miracle now.”
Well David Backes swatted a puck out of midair and somehow kept his stick below the crossbar to level the game with 0.8 seconds remaining, so I guess that qualifies. St. Louis went on to win 5-4 in a shootout. Here’s a video of the frantic final seconds that includes the Bruins missing on two tries at the empty net:
But seriously, what kind of an idiot says something like that as the opposing team is carrying the puck with speed through the neutral zone? Knowing Edwards as I do, it’s not a stretch to say he is the most hilariously biased, repetitive, annoying, awkward play by play guys in hockey (maybe even professional sport), and as much as I would prefer the Bruins not give up points to any Western Conference team, I was filled with such glee that Edwards had seemingly jinxed his team that I couldn’t believe it.
And that final goal in regulation was just the cherry on top of probably the best single period of hockey this year. The Bruins entered the third trailing 2-1 and scored three goals in the space of 1:39 thanks to a 5-on-3 power play during which they scored twice and a goal just seconds later by Zdeno Chara right off a draw. The game looked well in hand. But then St. Louis scored on a power play of its own with 1:20 or so to play to cut the lead to one before that remarkable tying goal.
So as much as the Blues can thank David Backes’ ability to somehow not play that puck with a high stick, I think Andy Murray should be wrapping up a nice fruit basket for Edwards right about now.
And by the way, this game wasn’t even aired in St. Louis, which is at once sad and hilarious.
Washington 2, New York Islanders 1 (OT)
Alex Ovechkin scored twice for his league-leading 30th and 31st of the year. The first was a vintage Ovie one-timer from the top of the left circle, the second was an OT game-winner. So that’s a pretty good day at the rink then, eh? Yann Danis might have taken the overtime loss, but he was probably the second-best player on the ice behind Ovechkin, making 36 saves and stopping the Caps cold on an alarming number of breakaway opportunities. Who needs that Dubliewicz bum anyway? Let him rot on the bench in Columbus.
Carolina 2, Toronto 0
Killa Cam Ward kept busy in the final 40 minutes of the game and helped out my fantasy team with 35 saves after a first period in which he faced just six shots. Joe Corvo and Chad Larose had the goals for Carolina, not that I or anyone else aside from Mssrs. Corvo and Larose cared.
Tampa Bay 4, Dallas 2
Vinny Lecavalier is very, very good at hockey and the ransom to be paid by the Montreal Canadiens increases by the day. Two goals and an assist for Vinny, and Steven Stamkos had the game-winner, somehow. Marty Turco gave up four goals on 19 shots, while Mike Smith only faced 25 in his first game against his former team. Looks like Dallas kept the wrong goalie, no?
Buffalo 3, Florida 2 (SO)
David Booth, Nathan Horton, Timmy Connolly, Tom Vanek. Shootout winner by Ales Kotalik. Who cares?
Minnesota 4, Chicago 1
It may have been Chicago’s second home regulation loss all year, it may have been an awesome 40-save night for Goalie Nicklas Backstrom, it may have been a big night for the Minnesota offense, but who cares about that? Some jerk in the stands got a million dollars from the Illinois lottery because Martin Havlat scored at exactly the 10-minute mark of the second period. That’s gotta be the coolest thing that ever happened to the guy that won. So awesome.
New Jersey 3, Nashville 1
Brendan Shanahan scored in his first game back in the NHL. It took that lazy, European, poker-playing dork Mats Sundin three games to do the same thing. Chalk another one up for North America. Best continent ever.