Jack Edwards knows hockey well enough to expect the unexpected in the postseason.
NESN’s play-by-play announcer for Boston Bruins games previewed the team’s upcoming first-round playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday during his appearance on WZLX’s “Karlson & McKenzie,” telling listeners to prepare themselves for the inevitable surprises of playoff hockey.
Having done studied the teams ahead of the series, which will begin with Game 1 on Thursday night at TD Garden, Edwards is ready to enjoy the show.
“‘Be prepared to be surprised,'” Edwards said. “That’s the motto we have during the playoffs because as much homework as we do, as much as we try to prepare, as much as we think we know what’s going to happen starting tonight.”
Edwards also addressed the Bruins’ sluggish end to the regular season, explaining how head coach Bruce Cassidy will try to reverse the trend with a simple message.
“(Cassidy) has been delivering the same message for the last half-dozen games, which is they’ve got to get off to better starts, and he’s really been harping on that since the regular season ended Sunday,” Edwards said. “We’re going to see if they’re going to respond.
“This is part of the frustration of being a really good coach with a team that has really good potential but hasn’t reached it yet. It’s that sometimes you deliver the message and for whatever reason they don’t deliver on the message.
Edwards then offered a stark reason for Bruins fans to worry about the matchup with Toronto.
“I’ll give you one statistic that’s kind of worrisome: In the last 10 games, the Bruins have scored the first goal only two times out of 10. They’ve led after the one period just two times out of 10. Toronto in its last 10 games has scored the first goal eight times, led after one period seven times.”
Bruins fans can take comfort in the fact playoff hockey is different from the regular-season version, and these trends and statistics won’t necessarily carry over.
While we won’t know what actually will happen until the teams take the ice, we’re certain it will be entertaining.