Boston Bruins fans have tuned into the New England Sports Network for over 30 years to watch their beloved hockey club do battle on the ice.
Legendary play-by-play voice Fred Cusick sat atop his perch at the Boston Garden for the first 11 years (1984-1995), allowing fans who weren’t able to attend the games to feel like they had a front row seat to all the action. Dale Arnold then took his place in the Fall of 1995 and would remain on the network until 2007.
Since then, former ESPN anchor and New Hampshire native Jack Edwards has taken to NESN’s airwaves calling games on Causeway Street. His passion for the game and often excitable commentary makes him a polarizing figure around New England. Love him or hate him, Edwards is definitely not afraid to speak his mind, especially on the Twittersphere.
The 58-year old has delivered several memorable calls in the eight years he has been at the mic for Bruins games. After much discussion and debate, we bring you five of the more notable ones from Edwards during his time in Boston.
5. “234 Years Ago Yesterday…”
Back in 2009, the top-seeded Bruins were pitted against the eighth-seed Montreal Canadiens in the first-round of the playoffs. The two Original Six franchises swapped roles from their series a year earlier. The Habs were seeking a monumental upset over their much-hated rivals from the Bay State.
In Game 3, Boston was hanging on to a 3-2 lead in the final minute, soaking in copious amounts of pressure from the Canadiens. A foot race ensued for a loose puck in the neutral zone when Chuck Kobasew beat Saku Koivu to it and slotted in an empty-net goal to secure the victory and a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.
Seconds after the red light came on, Edwards gave a stirring speech comparing this victory to the origins of the American Revolution in 1775.
Somewhere I can hear the fireworks going off.
4. “The Bruins Knock Out Montreal!”
Boston and Montreal would battle against each other again just two years later in the first round of the 2011 playoffs.
The series would be decided in a winner-take-all Game 7 at the TD Garden. It was a tense atmosphere from the back row of the balcony down to the benches on the ice. Chris Kelly gave the Bruins a third-period lead that was cancelled out by PK Subban with just two minutes left. It was a concoction of emotions as the two sides went into a sudden-death overtime.
As time passed, the anxiety steadily increased around the Garden. Who would be the hero (or the goat)?
The answer would come 5:43 into the extra session off the stick of Nathan Horton. Edwards’ call of his series-winning goal was short, sweet and to the point.
The tone in his voice personified the relief Bruins fans felt. They could finally relax knowing Boston conquered the enemy in the most dramatic way possible.
3. “GET UP!”
For No. 3, we rewind back to Game 3 of Bruins-Canadiens in 2011. Montreal held a 2-0 series lead heading to the Bell Centre. Boston had the undesirable task of clawing their way back from the brink of playoff extinction in one of hockey’s hallowed grounds.
Edwards went on the offensive more than once when it came to the antics of the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge that night. At the end of the first period, he unleashed his fury on Benoit Pouliot after attempting a late hit on Johnny Boychuk.
“Benoit Pouliot; one of the greatest disappointments in talent in National Hockey League history. He’s a real high draft pick but he’s never done anything with his talent.”
However, that was just the appetizer. In the third period, when Habs defenseman Roman Hamrlik went down after a Michael Ryder hit, Edwards said this:
“GET UP.” Simple yet tasteful.
It remains one of his most memorable quotes that succinctly describes how all Bruins fans feel about Montreal’s on-ice antics.
2. Bergeron’s Dagger Kills The Blue Beast
The silver medal in our rankings takes us to the 2013 playoffs.
The Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs engaged in a hotly contested first-round battle that went all the way to Game 7. The Leafs had a seemingly insurmountable 4-1 lead midway through the third period before a stirring comeback, capped off by Patrice Bergeron’s goal with 50 seconds left, gave the Bruins new life entering sudden death overtime.
Six minutes into the extra period, Bergeron would seal the deal on an improbable comeback scoring the goal that ended one of the most exciting games in TD Garden history. NESN was fortunate enough to have a camera in their booth and caught Edwards in the moment of that now-famous goal.
1. “THIS BUILDING IS VIBRATING!”
Saturday April 17, 2008: The day Boston resurrected itself as a hockey town.
Game 6 of their first-round series with Montreal was never supposed to happen. The Bruins were massive underdogs but found a way to push this series back to TD Garden. The Bruins found themselves 10 minutes from elimination before Milan Lucic tied the game at three with just over seven minutes left. It set the stage for Marco Sturm and Phil Kessel to link up and nearly blow the Garden roof onto Causeway Street.
Kessel’s second goal of the night gave the underdog Bruins a 4-3 lead with 4:21 left. It was met by a deafening roar from the sellout crowd, prompting Edwards to broadcast this spine-tingling sentence.
“Throws it middle. Kessel shot, SCORE! THE BRUINS LEAD! THIS BUILDING IS VIBRATING!!!!”
Seven years on, it remains one of the most memorable calls in modern Bruins history. The moment was so perfectly encapsulated by those four words. It was a moment, frozen in time, that no Black and Gold supporter will ever forget.
Joe is a writer covering the Boston Bruins. He is a lifelong native of Massachusetts and is currently a content writer/manager for a newsletter at a Human Services Agency. Joe can be found on Twitter: @JoeCherryTHW