February 20, 2024

Charlie McAvoy on Bruins, USA hockey, more

Defenseman Charlie McAvoy is among the foundational gamers for the Boston Bruins, who’ve proven how sturdy their basis is that this season. After setting regular-season information for wins and factors in 2022-23, the Bruins have overcome some offseason adversity to problem for the league lead in factors once more.

McAvoy joined ESPN’s “The Drop” podcast this week to speak in regards to the Bruins, doubtlessly taking part in for Team USA within the upcoming Four Nations match and chasing gold on the Olympics, his Super Bowl choose for this Sunday and his historical past with soccer as a die-hard New York Giants fan. Enjoy!

Note: The interview has been flippantly edited for readability.

Q. The Bruins have been among the best tales of the season up to now: Pressing for the President’s Trophy once more after shedding some key gamers and struggling that devastating loss within the playoffs within the first spherical. Has this season been a shock for you in any respect? Or have been you assured that the Bruins nonetheless had this type of season in them?

McAvoy: I used to be positively stunned. I’ll say it. I will not conceal it. We misplaced numerous guys. Maybe it was the skin noise, however I believe I embraced an underdog position this 12 months. I believe our crew did as effectively. As we began stringing collectively our id and profitable more and more hockey video games, I used to be sort of like, how are we doing this? And then it kind of clicked. Like, okay, this is not luck. We’re a extremely good hockey crew once more.

Are we constructed like final 12 months? No, by no means. We’re more of a “put it in deep” crew now vs. line rush. We’re more of a “wear you out behind the net” than biking, making talent performs excessive. We’re doing it a very completely different means this 12 months.

But the goalie stayed the identical. The protection stayed the identical. We’ve received new guys up entrance, however these two pillars have been there. There was familiarity with our construction. So it labored out very well.

Q. You’re a USA hockey man. Big worldwide hockey information on the NHL All-Star Game. Let’s begin with the Four Nations Face-Off subsequent season, with the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Finland. What are your ideas on that match?

McAvoy: I believed it was actually cool. Just actually excited on the prospect of taking part in hockey for Team USA once more. Those have been a number of the finest reminiscences I’ve had in hockey, and it is at all times an honor. I’ve had the dream of being an Olympian for the reason that first time I ever watched it. In 2010, once they nearly gained the gold medal, I keep in mind sitting on the sofa watching that with my household and the way particular that match was. You internalize that and you are like, “That’s where I wanna be.”

We thought we had it final go round [at the Olympics in 2022]. That was equally as thrilling after which sort of equally as disappointing when it received pulled. Hopefully there isn’t any unexpected stuff that would throw a wrench on this. Hopefully so long as I do every thing I can, I’ll be capable to play on that crew.

Q. People do not perceive how shut it got here with Beijing. You informed me you needed to submit your measurements to your Ralph Lauren opening ceremonies or closing ceremonies gear, proper?

McAvoy: We had gone so far as having a protracted checklist [of players]. We received on a Zoom name with the teaching workers and the overall supervisor. So you have got all these guys which are within the participant pool with the prospect of creating the crew. We gave residence addresses to allow them to come and drug check you — and take your measurements for ceremonies.

We made all of it the way in which into the season, into the winter time. We have been getting sort of near February, after which I believe they referred to as it when all these [COVID] outbreaks occurred. It was simply cool since you’re doing all these items, and also you’re getting enthusiastic about it. But it will be equally as thrilling this time round if we get to do it. I hope we are able to.

As far because the Four Nations, you have got Boston and Montreal, two of the very best cities within the league. If I get to play, that little little bit of residence ice for me could be superior.

I do know it is solely 4 groups. [David Pastrnak] was sort of upset as a result of the Czechs have an incredible hockey nation. But as I understood, it was kind of simply what they put collectively in a short while. It’ll be a primary step towards World Cup of Hockey once more, the place everyone will be capable to play.

Q. All proper, this is your likelihood: Please inform myself and the remainder of the Americans that we’re lastly going to beat Canada and win gold in one in all these tournaments.

McAvoy: I’m not gonna throw that on the bulletin board proper now. [Laughs] But I’ve had these conversations lately with the participant pool and with the expertise that USA Hockey has. You go searching and there is stars everywhere in the league which are American, at each single place. So I believe that sort of modifications now. I believe as an alternative of being like, “I wonder how far they could go,” it seems to be like, “Hey, you know, why not us, to go over there and make some real noise?”

Q. Charlie, you have been our NFL playoff prognosticator on ESPN’s hockey podcast The Drop, going 7-5 this postseason.

McAvoy: Oh, we’re plus cash. [Laughs] I like soccer. Football was at all times my favourite sport in addition to hockey. I performed it for so long as I may. I like watching school soccer. I like that the NFL coincides with our season. I do not suppose there’s any higher time within the 12 months than that. Late August, September while you’re preparing for soccer, hockey season.

Q. When you say you performed it, did you play in class rising up?

McAvoy: I performed Pop Warner, after which I performed up till seventh grade. So once I needed to exit for the center college crew, that was sort of when it was simply an excessive amount of. We had video games each weekend for hockey all by means of the autumn. So you are lacking these video games anyway and follow does not coincide with it both. I performed lacrosse the longest, actually.

Q. Was there ever some extent within the multiverse the place you would have been [Giants tight end] Mark Bavaro? Like, you have been at all times going to be higher at hockey, proper?

McAvoy: I might think about I might have by no means been Mark Bavaro. [Laughs] I used to be huge as a child and performed like a operating again and linebacker. I truly went to a Giants recreation with my dad, and I purchased him a Mark Bavaro jersey. But I want I may have performed longer since you by no means know. I gave up on it too early, however I do not suppose that I might’ve … I do not know if I had the intangibles to be a soccer participant.

Q. Okay, do not hold the individuals ready, Charlie: What’s your Super Bowl 58 choose?

McAvoy: I do not perceive how you would go towards [Patrick] Mahomes on this state of affairs. I actually do not perceive how they’re underdogs to be sincere. He’s simply been there too many occasions. The document is the document. I believe I picked them to lose within the divisional spherical, after which I discover out the man is 7-0 within the divisional spherical, and also you’re identical to “he’s a shoo-in for the conference championship every single year.” So now I’m simply gonna let the numbers work for me. I believe it is actually laborious to go towards the Chiefs right here, and their protection might be the very best they’ve had — even higher than final 12 months.

I regarded on the Niners. They tried each solution to lose their playoff video games, and so they in some way received by means of. That’s clearly check. Maybe now they flip the swap, and now they’re simply gonna run Kansas City out. But I do not know. You’re gonna have to point out it to me. The Chiefs needed to go the laborious means. So they went into Baltimore, they went into Buffalo, and so they gained each these video games. You’re gonna have to offer me Mahomes on Super Bowl Sunday.

Q. Finally, what do you concentrate on the entire Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce factor?

McAvoy: I believe it is fairly cool. We have been joking about it the opposite day as a result of my spouse loves Taylor Swift, and I’m not ashamed to say that I hearken to Taylor Swift, too. She’s an icon. But I used to be saying like, man, she could not have dated a hockey participant? [Laughs] Someone stated the income she’s delivered to the NFL is unbelievable, and she or he’s helped her personal model alongside the way in which. But I used to be like, man, we could not have gotten, like Jack Hughes or any individual to slip into her DMs?