Boston Bruins diary of the 1970s

by theFalcon - 21 cards (Last updated on Mar 29, 2021)

1. 1998 Sports Illustrated for Kids - Great Playoff Moments #NNO Bobby Orr

May 10, 1970 - Bruins win The Cup!

The dive attempted by millions of boys afterward (on grass if we were smart). Is there a more famous photo in hockey? I don't think so. It was taken by Ray Lussier of the Boston Record-American. The negative should be stored in a vault.

2. 1970-71 Dad's Cookies #NNO Ted Green

October 11, 1970 - Ted Green returns to hockey and plays every game of 1970-71 season.

Notice this card's comment on the 69/70 season ... 13 months earlier, Green almost got killed in a stick fight with Wayne Maki during a preseason game. He wrote a book about his comeback ... I may have perused it in the library long ago and I know the Sports Illustrated online vault has an excerpt somewhere.

He was one of the meanest dudes during the '60s (called "a wild animal" by the prez of the Rangers in 1965), but mellowed out considerably after his comeback.

3. 1972-73 Topps #85 Carol Vadnais

February 23, 1972 - Acquired from California Golden Seals.

How absurdly deep were the Bruins in '72? Two of the three guys they traded, Ivan Boldirev and Reggie Leach, scored hundreds of goals in the NHL, but couldn't get off the bench in Boston.

Vads was a nice insurance policy to have on the blue line if Bobby Orr was hobbled with injuries. He was a high skill guy and also played tough. In a pinch, you could put him on wing, a position he played sometimes with the Seals.

4. 1971-72 Boston Bruins Postcards #NNO Ed Johnston

May 7, 1972 - EJ wins Game Four of Cup finals in New York, Bruins take 3-1 lead in games.

It's almost unheard of for a team to win a Stanley Cup while splitting the goalie chores right down the middle, but that's what coach Tom Johnson did. Johnston couldn't close the deal in Game 5, so they brought back Gerry Cheevers to finish off the Rangers in Game 6.

Johnston played only only one playoff game in 1970 when Boston won it all, but he and Cheesy each won six games in 1972 ... and EJ had the better GAA and Save Percentage.

5. 1972-73 Topps #1 1971-72 Stanley Cup Champs (Boston Bruins)

May 11, 1972 - Bruins lift the Cup in New York.

I have to admit that the B's caught a break or two that spring. Their path the finals (Toronto and St. Louis) was so much easier than the path taken by the Rangers (Montreal and Chicago). Plus, if Jean Ratelle doesn't bust his ankle late in the season, who knows, maybe he would have pushed NYR over the top. That was the strongest team of the Emile Francis era ... the Rangers didn't have a team as good for another 20 years.

In the late '60s and early '70s, BOS vs. NYR had to be the hottest rivalry in the league. Per the 5/15/1972 issue of Sports Illustrated, the MSG "fans" at Game Three showered the Bruins with transistor batteries, cigarette lighters, 50-cent pieces, beer cans (empty), shaving cans (filled), bags of cashew nuts and rolls of pink toilet paper.

6. 1972-73 Atlanta Flames Postcards #2 Dan Bouchard

June 6, 1972 - lost to the Atlanta Flames in the expansion draft.

Bouchard was in Boston during the '71-'72 season ... with the Boston Braves of the AHL.

He never played with the Bruins, but maybe he should have. Instead, Boston protected BOTH of its veteran goalies (Cheevers and Johnston). I guess the notoriously cheap Bruins management didn't think Cheevers would defect for the big bucks of the WHA.

Meanwhile, Bouchard had a save percentage of .907 or higher during his first four seasons in Atlanta (better than the top Bruins goalies of that timeframe). Bep Guidolin coached him in the AHL and thought he could have been the Bruins goalie for the next 15 years.

7. 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee - Team Canada #NNO Wayne Cashman

September 4, 1972 - Team Canada dresses Cashman for Game 2 and wins to even series against USSR.

More than a coincidence regarding that win ... he was Chairman of The Boards in the offensive zone during his career ... a job he did with a nasty disposition, as the Russians learned (and bitterly complained about it). Check out his fabulous setup of an Espo goal during Game 3 (51:40 of video below) -

8. 1973-74 O-Pee-Chee #254 Terry O'Reilly

1972 training camp - O'Reilly makes the team

Started as a southpaw crazy man and became a 90-point scorer in 1977-78. Unbelievable!

Lots of openings in camp after Beantown lost 25% of its Cup roster for nothing during the summer of '72 (Cheevers, Sanderson, McKenzie and Green defected to WHA and Westfall was an expansion pick by the Islanders).

9. 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee #240 Gregg Sheppard

Early 1972-73 season - Sheppard makes the team

This guy was really good ... 20+ goals per year five times and I didn't realize until now that his per-game productivity in the playoffs was HIGHER than the regular season.

10. 1971-72 Toronto Sun NHL Action Players #NNO Derek Michael Sanderson

February 1973 - The Turk returns to Boston.

One of my favorites, but only played part-time during next two seasons. It didn't help that coach Bep Guidolin detested him.

In his prime, he was the prototype second or third-line center who could score, win face-offs, check, fight, and kill penalties (had 18 shorthanded goals from '69-'70 thru '71-'72). Claims to have beaten Jean Beliveau in face-offs over 20 straight times during playoffs ... is it true?



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