If Bruins fans need a villain in the Stanley Cup Final, Joel Edmundson just stepped up

Joel Edmundson of the St. Louis Blues is called for high-sticking on David Backes of the Boston Bruins during the second period in Game 1 of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on May 27, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joel Edmundson of the St. Louis Blues is called for high-sticking on David Backes of the Boston Bruins during the second period in Game 1 of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on May 27, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

BOSTON -- The important thing for the Bruins is that they have a 1-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final after coming back to beat the Blues. But if you're casting a villain in this tale, Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson just had a strong audition. Villains always make the Stanley Cup Playoffs more fun and Edmundson looks the part.

The 6-foot-4 Edmundson plays with an edge that potentially makes him a grind of a defensive matchup for the Bruins. But that also means the occasional excessive force that leads to penalties. Edmundson should have immediately become villain No. 1 for Bruins fans in the second period, after he cross-checked David Backes up high then taunted him with a shove while he was down on his knees.

Backes clearly became agitated with Edmundson's antics and jawed heavily with him later in the second.

He could have easily let those frustrations boil over, but Backes avoided the penalty box on Monday. Ultimately he and the Bruins accomplished what they set out to do. It wasn't settling a score with Edmundson.

"I’m not taking anyone’s number. I’m trying to win a hockey game," Backes said. "I think our guys are all doing that. We’re focused on what we need to do. Numbers can be taken and revenge may be later, but we came to play a hockey game and our guys were focused on what we needed to do."

But even if Backes isn't bothering with some silly revenge plot, it shouldn't make Edmundson any less of a villain in the eyes of Bruins fans at this point. He's probably going to keep playing his usual hard-nosed game in a series that calls for it. Good for the Bruins if he ends up with more penalties. Otherwise, his antics should help make the series that much more compelling.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].