Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't Start Believin'

Jack Edwards is a national treasure. Well, he's a New England treasure, in any case. The Bruins' easily excitable, overtly biased and ridiculously dramatic play-by-play announcer is like none other in sports. The call he made when the Bruins clinched a playoff berth made my eyes misty. Calling Jack Edwards enthusiastic would be like calling Wayne Gretzky half-decent. Jack is a legend, and we're fortunate to have him here.

How he has any vocal cords left after tonight, I have no idea. The B's pulled out a spectacular victory, scoring twice in the third period to erase a 2-0 deficit vs. Buffalo and then getting the game-winning goal from Miroslav Satan in double-overtime. The New Garden was rocking like the old one, and Edwards rose above the den of noise to trumpet Satan's "golden goal" (can you tell that Jack used to call the soccer World Cup?), which gave the B's a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series. (Sorry, I couldn't find a video of Jack's call from tonight. Trust me, though; it was epic.) One more win, and the B's move on to...

What, exactly? A date with Washington, by far the best team in the NHL this year? A date with Pittsburgh, the defending Stanley Cup champion and the team that has (arguably) the best player in the NHL in Sidney Crosby? Or maybe a shot at New Jersey, a team that always gives Boston trouble? As I've said here before, this can't end well. It never does with the Bruins--and I'm definitely not taking the Buffalo series for granted, despite the 3-1 lead. One loss in Buffalo in Game 5 (probable) followed by a bad game at home (entirely possible), and...

You see where I'm going with this. And the worst part is that if the Bruins do get past the Sabres (and I certainly hope that they do), we lose Jack (as far as I know) for the rest of the playoffs. If memory (from last season) serves, Versus takes over all broadcasts starting in the second round of the playoffs, meaning New England Sports Network will be the Red Sox channel until the fall, and Jack Edwards will have his vocal cords on ice for the summer. A playoff series loss and no Jack? That would be a double-bummer. And it's kind of likely to happen. (I could be wrong here, though--last season's Game 7 overtime loss to Carolina in the second-round series was so traumatic that I honestly can't remember which network aired it. I'm still trying to block out the memory of it altogether.)

So, at this point, all I can do is have fun with what this Bruins team--which lost 10 straight games at one point this season--is doing and ride this playoff train as far as it will go. It's one of my great sports fantasies to see the Bruins lift the Stanley Cup, and it'll likely continue to be just a fantasy after this season. For now, though, I've got Jack, a 3-1 Bruins series lead and a 12-pack of Narragansett in the fridge. I'm not believing, but I am enjoying this--for the time being. Go B's!

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