NHL Weekly: Boston commentator under fire as Bruins and Stars edge seven-game series

A wave of criticism has descended on commentator Jack Edwards
A wave of criticism has descended on commentator Jack EdwardsProfimedia
Another full week of NHL is behind us but who picked up the most points? Which goaltender stood out? What has been trending on social media? And what caught the attention of former player and Flashscore expert Ladislav Smid? All that and more is in our regular NHL Weekly.

Most productive player

The series between Dallas and the reigning champions from Vegas went down to the seventh game and the progress of the team from Texas was significantly contributed to by 20-year-old forward Wyatt Johnston. In four games he added the same number of points (2+2), plus he shot as hard as anyone, registering 15 attempts.

Goaltender of the week

When Vancouver's all-important Thatcher Demko was injured, there were no cheers from the locker room. But Casey DeSmith filled in for him very respectably. But after the third game of the series, even that substitute was no longer available and Arturs Silovs, a Latvian who had only nine regular season games to his name, had to go into the net.

He handled his role extremely well, first signing off with a 4-3 win in overtime, then the Canucks lost 2-1. However, Silovs shone in the sixth game, not conceding and advancing to the next round.

It was only the seventh time in NHL history that a series was won by a club that had three different starting goalies. Silovs is also the youngest goaltender in franchise history to keep a clean sheet in the elimination stages.

Highlight of the week

They love him in Boston, but elsewhere, commentator Jack Edwards can be divisive. His commentary often makes it very clear who he's rooting for and at times the experienced reporter can cross the line. When the Bruins wanted an explanation from referee Steve Kozari at the end of a period in a game against Toronto, Edwards called him a 'coward' for his early exit to the locker room. The referees' alliance didn't like that at all.

"I remember meeting Jack Edwards in the stands before he became a commentator. He was sitting next to me in the old Boston Garden, cussing the referee like he knew a lot about their job. He didn't. And he still doesn't," former referee Paul Stewart wrote on social network platform X. And he wasn't alone in his feelings.

"Calling Steve Kozari a coward is disgusting. If only because three weeks ago he was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a collision with a player. A year ago, he took a similar hit on Pat Maroon. This is sad, Jack," wrote another once respected man in pinstripes, Tim Peel.

Stat of the week

It's not just the players who deserve the attention. Lou Lamoriello has been around the league for many years, first serving as general manager with the New Jersey Devils in 1988. He's currently leading the New York Islanders, and although their journey through the playoffs ended early, the eighty-one-year-old strategist did manage one milestone. No general manager in the league has led a team into as many battles as he has.

Social media highlight

Do you still recognize the grey guy? Any Vancouver fan definitely should. He's Trevor Linden, the number two overall pick in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft and former longtime team captain who, among other things, was the only Canadian player to score against Dominik Hasek in Nagano. He retired 16 years ago, but he hasn't forgotten his beloved club.

Photo of the week

Toronto tried admirably. Trailing 3-1 in the series with Boston, they tied it at 3-3. They battled bravely with injuries to key players Auston Matthews and William Nylander but, in the end, it wasn't enough. The famous club fell out of the playoffs in the first round for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.

Sadly, the Leafs players are done for the season
Sadly, the Leafs players are done for the seasonProfimedia

Ladislav Smid's hot take

"A wonderful seven-game series between Boston and Toronto ended on Sunday. Hats off to the Leafs, I expected Boston to close it out early. I'm not a big fan of theirs, but even though their key players were injured, the team pulled together and it could have gone either way. It didn't even matter if Joseph Woll or Ilya Samsonov was in goal, they were both saving really well. It was all about the one goal David Pastrnak scored in the end.

"The whole series didn't go well for him, he was even criticized by coach Jim Montgomery, but that's just what difference-making players do. They step up and score the important goal. Toronto is known for scoring a lot of goals but the playoffs are a different competition, it's played back and forth and even goal scorers don't have as much space on the ice. It's a battle for every inch of the ice.

"Boston faces Florida next and it won't be easy. I thought Tampa were going to give the Panthers some trouble in the first round, but they didn't. It's the same team as a year ago but even better than they were. And they were in the finals... They don't have many weaknesses, great offence, great defence and a really good goalie."

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