By Nick Germano
In case you have been living under a rock for the last 24 hours, let me jog your memory on what has occurred in the Boston Bruins’ world since Thursday night.
The Bruins finished off a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars in the American Airlines Center after a dominant first period. The Bruins found all the offense they needed in their first two shots, with the first goal coming from the new incoming free agent Brett Ritchie, who played for Dallas last season. Heinen would score minutes later to cap off the goal-scoring for Boston. Stars breakout player Hintz would score a breakaway after torching Bruins D Charlie McAvoy, but other than that, Rask stood on his head and helped provide the Bruins with their first win of the season.
Not many are talking about the win, however. Most people across the league are focused on the injury of Stars D Roman Polak who took a mean run into the boards headfirst, and the comments of Bruins game announcer Jack Edwards. Shortly after Polak hit the boards and remained motionless on the ice, Edwards proceeded to call it “bad hockey karma,” and that is when the sparks began to fly.
Fans were outraged with the comments, with some on Twitter calling him a “disgrace to the sport.” However, Edwards did not shy away from the noise, and spoke out about his comments, defending himself by saying “I stand by my real-time call, and I think Brick nailed it when he said Polak’s injury was ‘self-induced.’”
Polak’s agent was not short with words when speaking on the topic, going to Twitter and calling Edwards a “piece of shit and an absolute disgrace.” He also praised the Boston players and staff for their warm wishes and signs of encouragement as well, stating, “I have tremendous respect for the Bruin players that sent best wishes. All class.”
Although I understand the apparent anger with Edwards, I think a lot of people are misinterpreting his meaning his message. I’m not making excuses or playing Devil’s advocate, because I believe there was a multitude of different ways he could have described the collision that would have resulted in less controversy than this. However, I think people are being lead to believe that Jack was taking a stab at Polak, precisely when he talked about karma. I think he just meant it is bad karma for anyone to rush headfirst into the boards as he did. I do not believe it has anything at all to do with the specific player, and I think that Jack truly felt awful for Polak, as you can tell by the sound of his voice, as he was being placed on the stretcher.
I know that Jack Edwards was a name a lot of people in the NHL despised even before this incident. He is known as one of the most biased commentators in hockey. Although I love his play-calling, given I am a Bruins fan, if this keeps escalating at the rate it is, I think Jack’s job could potentially be in jeopardy – at least for a small period of time. It is a very bold claim to make by saying an almost career-ending injury was “karma” related, and I think it is bringing NESN and the city of Boston a lot of bad rep.
Polak has full use of his extremities and has been released from the hospital, according to reports, which is fantastic. Now that we know Polak is safe and in good hands, I hope this controversy finds it is ending. Again, I am not excusing Edwards’ words, but I think it was the heat of the moment and just an unfortunate lapse of judgment on what to say. Edwards is a civilized human being just like most of us, and I think it is crazy to believe that he would ever wish this on anyone byways of “karma.”
I wish nothing but the best to Roman Polak and his family.