60-61BosBru.jpg
1960–61 Boston Bruins · NHL
Division 6th NHL
1960–61 record 15–42–13
Goals for 176 (6th)
Goals against 254 (6th)
General Manager Lynn Patrick
Coach Milt Schmidt
Captain Fern Flaman
Arena Boston Garden
Team Leaders
Goals Don McKenney (26)
Assists Jerry Toppazzini (35)
Points Jerry Toppazzini (50)
Penalties in minutes Jim Bartlett (95)
Wins Bruce Gamble (12)
Goals against average Don Simmons (3.23)
← Seasons →
1959–60 1961–62

The 1960–61 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 37th season in the NHL. The Bruins finished 6th in the league and did not qualify for the playoffs.

Off-season[edit | edit source]

Milt Schmidt at training camp, September 7, 1960.

General Manager Lynn Patrick made no moves in the off-season that would have any positive impact on Bruins, save one, as Ted Green was obtained in the intra-league draft. Green would play only one game in 1960-61 but become a regular on defense. A tough, hard-hitting player, Green was part of the Bruins' resurgence later in the decade.

The Bruins lost star forward Fleming Mackell, who retired from the NHL to become the playing coach of the Quebec Aces.

The 14th National Hockey League All-Star Game was held at Montreal on October 1, 1960. A team of All-stars that included three Bruins, Bronco Horvath, Vic Stasiuk and Don McKenney played against the Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens. The All-Stars won 2-1 with no Bruins recording a point.

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Autry Erickson played his second and last season for the Bruins in 1960-61.

The Bruins had their worst season since their first year in the NHL in 1924-25. There was no suitable replacement for Mackell, weakening Boston's top line. The injury of Bronco Horvath, who missed 23 games, saw the production of the "Uke Line" drop significantly with Vic Stasiuk having his worst season in five years and John Bucyk finishing a team low -31 plus/minus. The depth forwards were not of the quality as in past years resulting in a steep decline in offense. The Bruins finished last in league scoring for first time since 1955-56 and only the second time in their history to this point.

The plight of the Bruins defense began in the 1958-59 season with the trade of Allan Stanley for Jim Morrison and then the subsequent trade of Morrison. Stalwarts Fern Flaman and Bob Armstrong were fading and both played their last season. While Leo Boivin and Doug Mohns were both excellent defensemen, the Bruins relied on 22 year old Autry Erickson (who played his last full NHL season until suiting up for the 1967-68 Oakland Seals) and 19 year old Dallas Smith. Too much was expected of both Erickson and Smith with the latter being relegated to the minors for five years to develop. He'd return in the 1966-67 season, become the defense partner of Bobby Orr, win the Stanley Cup twice and play ten more excellent seasons with the Bruins.

The Bruins started the season with an eight game winless streak. The third line of Orval Tessier, Billy Carter and Dick Meissner went scoreless and in many of the games, late goals by the opposition resulted in losses or ties. During the October 16, 1960 game versus the Chicago Black Hawks, Don Simmons was hit in the face on a shot by Eric Nesterenko with less than a minute to play in the game. In order to finish the game, Jerry Toppazzini played goal using only the goalie gloves and stick. Toppazzini didn't face any shots and was the last regular position player to tend goal.[1]

Ed Litzenberger goes into the stands at the Boston Garden assisted by #9 Tod Sloan and #2 Al Arbour, October 23, 1960.

During the October 23, 1960 game versus Chicago at Boston, a fan threw a light bulb at goalie Glenn Hall. It hit Hall in the face, which allowed Don McKenney to tie the score 2-2 with 1:45 left to play. Several angry Black Hawks, including Ed Litzenberger, climbed into the stands and went after abusive fans that picked fights with the players. Litzenberger scored both Chicago goals as the game ended in a tie. During the October 29, 1960 game versus the Montreal Canadiens, Milt Schmidt became the first coach to pull the goalie for an extra attacker on a delayed penalty. However, the Bruins didn't score on the play and came up short in the game, losing 3-2.

Charlie Burns scores on Glenn Hall, November 6, 1960.

By the end of October, Carter and Meissner were sent to the minors for the rest of the season. Gerry Ouellette was called up and Jim Bartlett was activated. Ouelette would be in and out of the line-up in his only NHL season. Initially, Bartlett impressed while playing with Charlie Burns and Jerry Toppazzini, scoring twice and adding an assist on October 30 during the 5-3 win over Montreal. He played the rest of the year and scored 15 goals in his last NHL season. Ted Green was called up for his first NHL game on November 10, 1960 versus the Detroit Red Wings. However, the changes made little difference as the slide continued with the Bruins going 2-9-2 in November.

Willie O'Ree shooting on Glenn Hall while being checked by Bill Hay, December 28, 1960.

For the November 19, 1960 game against Detroit, two changes were made. In goal, the days of Don Simmons as a starting goaltender had passed. Struggling behind a weakened defense, Simmons was sent to the minors and 22 year old Bruce Gamble was recalled and played the rest of the season in the Bruins net. Willie O'Ree was also recalled for his second and final stint in the NHL. He wore jersey #25 and the changes sparked the Bruins, as they won 6-4 with Don McKenney scoring a Hat trick. O'Ree played the next four games but went pointless and was pulled from the line-up as the Bruins went winless in the remaining games in November. With only 1 goal in 23 games, Jean-Guy Gendron was traded to Montreal for André Pronovost. Pronovost would respond with 22 points while playing the remainder of the season in Boston.

On December 18, 1960, O'Ree was inserted back into the line-up for the game against Montreal. He'd be a regular for the remainder of the season and record his first points in the next game on December 22, 1960 against Chicago. He assisted on the first goal of the game by André Pronovost and then 37 seconds later, assisted on a goal by Autry Erickson. The Bruins won 4-2 in the only multiple point game of O'Ree's NHL career.

Murray Oliver would be an offensive leader for the Bruins in the 1960's.

The Bruins had a 7-20-5 record entering the January 1, 1961 game against Montreal at the Boston Garden. O'Ree had switched to jersey #22 (which he'd wear for the remainder of the season) and entering the third period, the Bruins were leading 2-1. Just past the halfway mark, Leo Boivin sent O'Ree on a breakaway against Canadiens netminder Charlie Hodge. O'Ree fired a low shot to Hodge's glove side which proved to be the game winner as the Bruins triumphed 3-2. O'Ree also scored the winner on January 19, 1961 versus Detroit in a 4-2 victory. January proved to be Boston's best month of the campaign as they went 4-8-2.

On January 23, 1961, GM Lynn Patrick triggered a significant deal, sending Vic Stasiuk and Leo Labine to Detroit for Murray Oliver, Tom McCarthy and Gary Aldcorn. While breaking up the "Uke Line", Oliver would become a fabulous playmaker and finish in the top two of team scoring four times over the next six seasons. Stasiuk and Labine would be out of the NHL within two years.

The February 4, 1961 game versus the New York Rangers in Boston was delayed for over two hours due to a snow storm. John Bucyk had a car crash while driving Jerry Toppazzini to the game and four Rangers never made it to the game. The match finally started at 10 p.m. and despite playing with only 13 skaters, the Rangers won 2-1. The Bruins had a single victory in February, 1961.

Willie O'Ree passes to Charlie Burns, March 18, 1961.

Boston fared little better in March as the defense was depleted due to injuries to Leo Boivin and Fern Flaman. Bucyk continued to be a bright spot as he had a Hat trick in the 4-2 win over Detroit on March 2, 1961. Willie O'Ree scored in each of the last two games of the season, while playing with Charlie Burns and Tom McCarthy, and finished his last NHL season with 4 goals and 14 points. The Bruins finished in last place for only the second time in franchise history when the Montreal Maroons topped them in both team's inaugural season 36 years before in 1924-25.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

National Hockey League GP W L T GF GA Pts
Montreal Canadiens 70 41 19 10 254 188 92
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 39 19 12 234 176 90
Chicago Black Hawks 70 29 24 17 198 180 75
Detroit Red Wings 70 25 29 16 195 215 66
New York Rangers 70 22 38 10 204 248 54
Boston Bruins 70 15 42 13 176 254 43

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.

Game Log[edit | edit source]

Regular Season Schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 L October 5, 1960 1–2 @ New York Rangers (1960–61) 0–1–0
2 T October 8, 1960 1–1 @ Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 0–1–1
3 T October 9, 1960 4–4 Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 0–1–2
4 T October 11, 1960 3–3 Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 0–1–3
5 T October 15, 1960 1–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 0–1–4
6 L October 16, 1960 2–5 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 0–2–4
7 L October 20, 1960 0–5 @ Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 0–3–4
8 T October 23, 1960 2–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 0–3–5
9 W October 27, 1960 6–4 New York Rangers (1960–61) 1–3–5
10 L October 29, 1960 2–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 1–4–5
11 W October 30, 1960 5–3 Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 2–4–5
12 T November 2, 1960 2–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 2–4–6
13 L November 3, 1960 5–8 @ Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 2–5–6
14 W November 6, 1960 4–0 Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 3–5–6
15 L November 10, 1960 1–4 Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 3–6–6
16 L November 13, 1960 2–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 3–7–6
17 L November 16, 1960 3–4 @ New York Rangers (1960–61) 3–8–6
18 L November 17, 1960 2–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 3–9–6
19 W November 19, 1960 6–4 Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 4–9–6
20 L November 20, 1960 2–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 4–10–6
21 L November 23, 1960 3–6 @ New York Rangers (1960–61) 4–11–6
22 L November 24, 1960 3–5 New York Rangers (1960–61) 4–12–6
23 L November 27, 1960 0–3 Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 4–13–6
24 T November 30, 1960 2–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 4–13–7
25 W December 1, 1960 3–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 5–13–7
26 L December 3, 1960 1–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 5–14–7
27 L December 4, 1960 2–5 Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 5–15–7
28 W December 8, 1960 5–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 6–15–7
29 L December 10, 1960 0–3 New York Rangers (1960–61) 6–16–7
30 T December 11, 1960 2–2 @ New York Rangers (1960–61) 6–16–8
31 T December 17, 1960 3–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 6–16–9
32 L December 18, 1960 2–4 Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 6–17–9
33 W December 22, 1960 4–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 7–17–9
34 L December 25, 1960 1–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 7–18–9
35 L December 28, 1960 3–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 7–19–9
36 L December 31, 1960 1–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 7–20–9
37 W January 1, 1961 3–2 Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 8–20–9
38 L January 5, 1961 3–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 8–21–9
39 L January 7, 1961 1–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 8–22–9
40 L January 8, 1961 3–5 @ Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 8–23–9
41 T January 12, 1961 4–4 New York Rangers (1960–61) 8–23–10
42 L January 14, 1961 0–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 8–24–10
43 L January 15, 1961 4–6 Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 8–25–10
44 W January 19, 1961 4–2 Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 9–25–10
45 W January 21, 1961 3–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 10–25–10
46 L January 22, 1961 3–8 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 10–26–10
47 L January 25, 1961 1–2 @ New York Rangers (1960–61) 10–27–10
48 W January 26, 1961 5–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 11–27–10
49 L January 29, 1961 1–3 Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 11–28–10
50 T February 2, 1961 2–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 11–28–11
51 L February 4, 1961 1–2 New York Rangers (1960–61) 11–29–11
52 L February 5, 1961 2–5 @ New York Rangers (1960–61) 11–30–11
53 L February 9, 1961 1–5 Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 11–31–11
54 L February 11, 1961 3–6 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 11–32–11
55 W February 12, 1961 8–3 New York Rangers (1960–61) 12–32–11
56 L February 16, 1961 1–9 @ Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 12–33–11
57 L February 18, 1961 1–5 @ Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 12–34–11
58 T February 19, 1961 2–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 12–34–12
59 T February 23, 1961 3–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 12–34–13
60 L February 26, 1961 2–7 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 12–35–13
61 L March 1, 1961 1–3 @ New York Rangers (1960–61) 12–36–13
62 W March 2, 1961 4–2 Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 13–36–13
63 L March 5, 1961 1–2 Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 13–37–13
64 L March 7, 1961 1–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 13–38–13
65 L March 9, 1961 2–5 Detroit Red Wings (1960–61) 13–39–13
66 L March 11, 1961 5–7 @ Montreal Canadiens (1960–61) 13–40–13
67 L March 12, 1961 0–5 Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 13–41–13
68 W March 15, 1961 6–2 New York Rangers (1960–61) 14–41–13
69 L March 18, 1961 2–6 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1960–61) 14–42–13
70 W March 19, 1961 4–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1960–61) 15–42–13

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

  • The Bruins did not qualify for the post season.

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
21 Toppazzini, JerryJerry Toppazzini RW 67 15 35 50 35
17 McKenney, DonDon McKenney C 68 26 23 49 22
10 Burns, CharlieCharlie Burns C 62 15 26 41 16
9 Bucyk, JohnJohn Bucyk LW 70 19 20 39 48
19 Mohns, DougDoug Mohns LW/D 65 12 21 33 63
6 Horvath, BroncoBronco Horvath C 47 15 15 30 15
7 Stasiuk, VicVic Stasiuk LW 46 5 25 30 35
24 Bartlett, JimJim Bartlett LW 63 15 9 24 95
20 Boivin, LeoLeo Boivin D 57 6 17 23 50
23 Pronovost, AndreAndre Pronovost LW 47 11 11 22 30
16 Labine, LeoLeo Labine RW 40 7 12 19 34
16 Oliver, MurrayMurray Oliver C 21 6 10 16 8
22, 25 O'Ree, WillieWillie O'Ree W 43 4 10 14 26
14 Flaman, FernFern Flaman D 62 2 9 11 59
8 Smith, DallasDallas Smith D 70 1 9 10 79
4 Armstrong, BobBob Armstrong D 54 0 10 10 72
12 Ouellette, GerryGerry Ouellette RW 34 5 4 9 0
25 McCarthy, TomTom McCarthy LW 24 4 5 9 0
11 Erickson, AutAut Erickson D 68 2 6 8 65
23 Gendron, Jean-GuyJean-Guy Gendron LW 13 1 7 8 24
18 Tessier, OrvalOrval Tessier C 32 3 4 7 0
7 Aldcorn, GaryGary Aldcorn LW 21 2 3 5 12
22 Meissner, DickDick Meissner RW 9 0 1 1 2
25 Green, TedTed Green D 1 0 0 0 2
12 Chisholm, ArtArt Chisholm C/D 3 0 0 0 0
12 Carter, BillyBilly Carter C 8 0 0 0 2
1 Simmons, DonDon Simmons G 18 0 0 0 6
1 Gamble, BruceBruce Gamble G 52 0 0 0 14
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Gamble, BruceBruce Gamble 3120 52 12 33 7 193 3.71 0
Simmons, DonDon Simmons 1079 18 3 9 6 58 3.23 1
Toppazzini, JerryJerry Toppazzini 1 1 0 0 0 0 0.00 0
Team: 4200 70 15 42 13 251 3.59 1

[2]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals

MIN = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts

Awards and Records[edit | edit source]

  • The Bruins did not receive any awards this season.

Transactions[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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