|Johnny "Chief" Bucyk poses with a young Bruins fan. More photos here. |
Harry Sinden, who coached that very team to victory was happy about seeing his players be honored, yet again.
”[The 1970 Bruins] established this sport, team and the franchise, or reestablished it...since it was always great, in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’, and 50’s,” said Sinden. “But in the 60’s they reestablished it for another 40 years.”
Almost every other day of the year, The Sports Museum, also located within the TD Garden, honors the legends of Boston sports; men and women whose accomplishments, contributions, and qualities of character and spirit have helped make “The Hub” the center of the sporting universe.
Forty years ago, the Hub of Hockey was the center of the hockey universe as the Bruins returned to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1958 with the help of Bobby Orr.
“It is really incredible, 40 years ago and people still remember us,” said Orr with a smile. “We had a lot of characters, we won a lot of hockey games, and there were a lot of exciting times with the team.”
That may be a slight understatement.
The Bruins lost their only two games of that playoff year during a six-game quarter-final series vs. the NY Rangers, which was followed by a four-game semi-final sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks – a series that was also notable for being only the second time in league history that brothers Phil Esposito for Boston and Tony for Chicago faced each other in a playoff round.
The Bruins set a NHL record with ten straight post-season victories as they capped their run to the Stanley Cup with a sweep of the St. Louis Blues in the finals, which, of course, was clinched by a Bobby Orr overtime goal that was immortalized in the most famous hockey photograph of all time and the statue that was recently dedicated at the entrance to the Garden.
Orr was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the playoff MVP thanks to league records for points by a defensemen with 20, scored in 14 straight post-season games.
“To watch the [team] grow and get better at the time you’re going through it of course you‘re just working hard,” recalled Sinden.
“Forty years later you look back and say, 'What and experience!'" Notes:
The 9th Annual Tradition also honored long time Red Sox right fielder Dwight Evans - The man with the golden arm (and bat), New England’s Kristine Lilly – women’s soccer most decorated player, Steve Nelson - a longtime heart-and-soul linebacker for the New England Patriots, Jerry Remy – former second baseman, long time broadcaster and the spirit of Red Sox Nation, as well as Jo Jo White - The sweet-shooting guard for the 1970s Celtics.