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61-62BosBru
1961–62 Boston Bruins · NHL
Division 6th NHL
1961–62 record 15–47–8
Goals for 177 (6th)
Goals against 306 (6th)
General Manager Lynn Patrick
Coach Phil Watson
Captain Don McKenney
Arena Boston Garden
Team Leaders
Goals Don McKenney (22)
Assists John Bucyk (40)
Points John Bucyk (60)
Penalties in minutes Ted Green (116)
Wins Don Head (9)
Goals against average Don Head (4.24)
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1960–61 1962–63

The 1961–62 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 38th season in the NHL. The Bruins finished 6th in the league and did not qualify for the playoffs.

Off-seasonEdit

Phil Watson Bruins coach

Phil Watson lasted a little over a year as the Bruins coach.

The Bruins hired fiery Phil Watson as their new coach and signed him to a three year contract. Ironically, Watson had been a nemesis of the Bruins in his playing days with the Rangers, in particular during the 1939 Semi-finals. He'd coached the Rangers to several surprise playoff berths but was notorious for being overbearing, which quickly wore thin with his players.

Don McKenney replaced the departed Fern Flaman as captain of the Bruins. Leo Boivin and John Bucyk remained assistant captains, joined by Doug Mohns.

Willie O'Ree was traded to the Montreal Canadiens on May 10, 1961 but would never play in the NHL again.

The 15th National Hockey League All-Star Game was held at Chicago on October 7, 1961. A team of all-stars that included three Bruins, Leo Boivin, Doug Mohns and Don McKenney played against the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The All-Stars won 3-1 with McKenney scoring the second goal.

Regular SeasonEdit

Boivin-1959 gold jersey

Leo Boivin and Doug Mohns were called upon to play heavy minutes in 1961-62.

The Bruins 1961-62 season was arguably the worst in their history. The plight of the defense began in the 1958-59 season with the trade of Allan Stanley for Jim Morrison and then the subsequent trade of Morrison. All-Star Fern Flaman became the playing coach of the Providence Reds and never played in the NHL again. Bob Armstrong played in October but was loaned to the Montreal Canadiens and never played in the NHL again. While the Bruins still had two excellent defensemen in Leo Boivin and Doug Mohns, there were no adequate replacements in the organization for the losses experienced. Both were over-taxed as evidenced by Boivin's -46 and Mohns'-62 plus/minus for the season. The Bruins had rushed Dallas Smith into full-time service the previous season. He played 8 games in October, was loaned to Montreal and spent six years in the minors before making the Bruins. Autry Erickson was lost in the 1961 intra-league draft.

As in the 1960-61 season, the Bruins had no choice but to press young, untested defenseman into action. Ted Green and Ed Westfall, both 22 years old, made the team out of camp and would become an important parts of Boston's resurgence later in the decade. Future All-Star Pat Stapleton played his rookie season for the Bruins but had a -58 plus/minus.

1961-62-Head Boivin

Goalie Don Head played his only NHL season in 1961-62.

In goal, Don Head played his only NHL season spelled off by Ed Chadwick and Bruce Gamble. Head was Canada's netminder for their silver medal win at the 1960 Olympics. All would have goals against averages more than 4 per game. Gamble would be relegated to the minors, to return with the Toronto Maple Leafs four years later while Chadwick's 4 games with the Bruins would be his last in the NHL.

The Bruins offense was no better than the previous season. The "Uke Line" was broken up in the 1960-61 season with the trade of Vic Stasiuk and Bronco Horvath was lost in the 1961 intra-league draft. Fleming Mackell had retired the year before and Leo Labine had been traded. The acquisition of Murray Oliver in 1961 was a major coup and he was paired with John Bucyk. Don McKenney and Jerry Toppazzini were also paired together but a suitable winger for both lines was a continual problem. Terry Gray and Wayne Connelly both played significant time but were disappointments while André Pronovost produced 15 goals, mainly when playing with McKenney. Depth scoring was sorely lacking. The third and fourth lines were led by Charlie Burns who had 11 goals while Dick Meissner had 3 goals in 66 games and was a -42. Cliff Pennington played his only full NHL season, had 41 points and was runner-up for the Calder Memorial Trophy.

15Oct1961-Head Stapleton Geoffrion

Don Head, Pat Stapleton and Bernie Geoffrion, October 15, 1961.

The Bruins opening night line-up had 5 players in their first NHL game including Don Head, Pat Stapleton, Terry Gray and Tom Williams while Ted Green, Cliff Pennington and Orland Kurtenbach had 15 games NHL experience between them. Lined-up against the experienced New York Rangers, they were soundly beaten 6-2 despite out-shooting the Rangers. After going winless in their first six games, Ed Chadwick was recalled from the minors to replace Don Head. After being shellacked for 15 goals in two games, Chadwick was sent back down. Kurtenbach was also sent to the minors, for the remainder of the season, after recording no points. Wayne Connelly was purchased from Montreal and Ed Westfall was recalled from the minors. Both would stick with the team for the remainder of the season. Head went back in net and the Bruins recorded their first win of the season, 4-0 over Detroit. Head had a fight with former Bruin Vic Stasiuk in the first period. The changes produced the best run of the season, 4-2-2.

Don Head did everything he could to spark the Bruins. During the 5-2 win over Montreal on November 2, 1961, Head had another scrap, this time with Marcel Bonin. During the 4-3 win over Toronto on November 12, 1961, a delayed penalty was called on the Maple Leafs. Instead of going to the bench, Head raced to the Leafs blue line and played point on the power play. This led to the league instituting a rule forbidding goalies to skate past the center red line.

However, the Bruins were outshot in most of the games during the streak. With the 4-2 loss to Detroit on November 19, 1961, where the Red Wings poured 41 shots on Don Head, the Bruins won only once in their next 15 games. Chadwick was recalled for the December 13, 1961 game versus the Chicago Blackhawks. He performed well in a 2-2 tie but after the Bruins were blanked 5-0 the next night in Detroit, Chadwick was sent back to the minors and never played in the NHL again. Don Head was back in net for the next game in Montreal, an 8-4 loss where the Canadiens rained 52 shots on Head. Despite being outshot 42-28, the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs on December 23, 1961 in Toronto with Murray Oliver recording the only Hat trick of the Bruins season.

31Jan1962-Gamble Hadfield

Bruce Gamble stops Rangers Vic Hadfield during the Bruins 20 game winless streak, January 31, 1962.

Don Head played his last NHL game on January 14, 1962 in a 4-1 loss to Montreal. Bruce Gamble was recalled and played the remaining 28 games of the season. After winning 3 of the next 4 games, the Bruins went on a 20 game winless streak that lasted for the entire month of February and into mid-March. Demoralized, the Bruins played lackluster hockey that lacked aggressiveness. For example, during the March 10, 1962 5-2 loss versus Montreal, the Canadiens dominated play. The Bruins couldn't sustain any pressure in Montreal's zone, hitting was noticeably absent and turnovers abounded. Jean Béliveau scored early in the third period when he stripped Doug Mohns of the puck at the Bruins blueline and then fired a shot over Gamble's glove. Both Bruins goals came off rushes with Pat Stapleton scoring his first career goal on a solo rush in which he deked both Lou Fontinato and Jacques Plante.

One of the few bright spots near the end of the season was Tom Williams. After playing the season opener, Williams was sent to the minors and recalled for the January 21, 1962 game versus Toronto. Williams had 12 points in 26 games as he played the remainder of the season. He'd make the Bruins full-time the next season and be an offensive threat for seven seasons in Boston.

Final StandingsEdit

National Hockey League GP W L T GF GA Pts
Montreal Canadiens 70 42 14 14 259 166 98
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 37 22 11 232 180 85
Chicago Black Hawks 70 31 26 13 217 186 75
New York Rangers 70 26 32 12 195 207 64
Detroit Red Wings 70 23 33 14 184 219 60
Boston Bruins 70 15 47 8 177 306 38

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 LogEdit

Regular Season Schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1LOctober 11, 19612–6 New York Rangers (1961–62) 0–1–0
2LOctober 12, 19613–6 @ New York Rangers (1961–62) 0–2–0
3LOctober 14, 19612–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 0–3–0
4TOctober 15, 19615–5 Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 0–3–1
5LOctober 17, 19613–5 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 0–4–1
6LOctober 19, 19613–7 @ Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 0–5–1
7LOctober 21, 19612–6 @ Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 0–6–1
8LOctober 22, 19611–9 Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 0–7–1
9WOctober 26, 19614–0 Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 1–7–1
10TOctober 29, 19612–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 1–7–2
11WNovember 2, 19615–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 2–7–2
12LNovember 5, 19613–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 2–8–2
13TNovember 8, 19614–4 @ New York Rangers (1961–62) 2–8–3
14LNovember 9, 19611–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 2–9–3
15WNovember 12, 19614–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 3–9–3
16WNovember 16, 19613–2 Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 4–9–3
17LNovember 19, 19612–6 Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 4–10–3
18LNovember 23, 19613–4 New York Rangers (1961–62) 4–11–3
19LNovember 25, 19610–5 @ Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 4–12–3
20LNovember 26, 19611–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 4–13–3
21LNovember 29, 19614–7 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 4–14–3
22LNovember 30, 19611–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 4–15–3
23WDecember 2, 19613–1 New York Rangers (1961–62) 5–15–3
24LDecember 3, 19611–3 @ New York Rangers (1961–62) 5–16–3
25LDecember 7, 19612–5 Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 5–17–3
26LDecember 9, 19612–9 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 5–18–3
27LDecember 10, 19613–4 Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 5–19–3
28TDecember 13, 19612–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 5–19–4
29LDecember 14, 19610–5 @ Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 5–20–4
30LDecember 16, 19614–8 @ Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 5–21–4
31LDecember 17, 19611–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 5–22–4
32WDecember 21, 19614–2 Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 6–22–4
33WDecember 23, 19617–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 7–22–4
34LDecember 25, 19612–5 Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 7–23–4
35WDecember 31, 19617–4 @ New York Rangers (1961–62) 8–23–4
36LJanuary 1, 19622–4 New York Rangers (1961–62) 8–24–4
37LJanuary 6, 19622–6 @ Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 8–25–4
38WJanuary 7, 19622–0 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 9–25–4
39LJanuary 10, 19625–7 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 9–26–4
40LJanuary 11, 19620–6 Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 9–27–4
41LJanuary 13, 19623–5 @ Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 9–28–4
42LJanuary 14, 19621–4 Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 9–29–4
43WJanuary 18, 19625–3 Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 10–29–4
44WJanuary 20, 19625–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 11–29–4
45LJanuary 21, 19621–5 Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 11–30–4
46WJanuary 27, 19625–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 12–30–4
47LJanuary 28, 19621–5 Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 12–31–4
48LJanuary 31, 19620–5 @ New York Rangers (1961–62) 12–32–4
49LFebruary 1, 19623–5 New York Rangers (1961–62) 12–33–4
50LFebruary 3, 19623–6 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 12–34–4
51LFebruary 4, 19620–6 @ Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 12–35–4
52TFebruary 7, 19622–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 12–35–5
53LFebruary 8, 19622–6 Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 12–36–5
54TFebruary 10, 19622–2 Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 12–36–6
55LFebruary 11, 19623–5 New York Rangers (1961–62) 12–37–6
56LFebruary 15, 19621–9 @ Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 12–38–6
57LFebruary 18, 19620–6 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 12–39–6
58LFebruary 21, 19622–4 @ New York Rangers (1961–62) 12–40–6
59LFebruary 24, 19622–7 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 12–41–6
60LFebruary 25, 19620–8 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 12–42–6
61TFebruary 28, 19622–2 @ New York Rangers (1961–62) 12–42–7
62LMarch 1, 19624–5 Chicago Black Hawks (1961–62) 12–43–7
63LMarch 4, 19621–5 Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 12–44–7
64LMarch 8, 19620–3 Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 12–45–7
65LMarch 10, 19622–5 @ Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 12–46–7
66TMarch 11, 19622–2 Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 12–46–8
67WMarch 15, 19624–0 @ Detroit Red Wings (1961–62) 13–46–8
68WMarch 18, 19626–2 Montreal Canadiens (1961–62) 14–46–8
69LMarch 22, 19623–4 New York Rangers (1961–62) 14–47–8
70WMarch 25, 19625–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1961–62) 15–47–8

PlayoffsEdit

The Bruins did not qualify for the post season.

Player StatsEdit

Regular SeasonEdit

Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
9 Bucyk, JohnJohn Bucyk LW 67 20 40 60 32
17 McKenney, DonDon McKenney C 70 22 33 55 10
21 Toppazzini, JerryJerry Toppazzini RW 70 19 31 50 26
16 Oliver, MurrayMurray Oliver C 70 17 29 46 21
19 Mohns, DougDoug Mohns LW/D 69 16 29 45 74
7 Pennington, CliffCliff Pennington C 70 9 32 41 2
10 Burns, CharlieCharlie Burns C 70 11 17 28 43
14, 23 Pronovost, AndreAndre Pronovost LW 70 15 8 23 74
20 Boivin, LeoLeo Boivin D 65 5 18 23 70
8 Connelly, WayneWayne Connelly C 61 8 12 20 34
12 Gray, TerryTerry Gray RW 42 8 7 15 15
11, 24 Williams, TommyTommy Williams RW 26 6 6 12 2
6 Green, TedTed Green D 66 3 8 11 116
18 Westfall, EdEd Westfall D/RW 63 2 9 11 53
24 Beckett, BobBob Beckett C 34 7 2 9 14
24 Leach, LarryLarry Leach C 28 2 5 7 18
4, 11 Stapleton, PatPat Stapleton D 69 2 5 7 42
22 Meissner, DickDick Meissner RW 66 3 3 6 13
9 Armstrong, BobBob Armstrong D 9 2 1 3 20
8 Smith, DallasDallas Smith D 7 0 0 0 10
14 Kurtenbach, OrlandOrland Kurtenbach C 8 0 0 0 6
1 Chadwick, EdEd Chadwick G 4 0 0 0 0
1 Gamble, BruceBruce Gamble G 28 0 0 0 4
1 Head, DonDon Head G 38 0 0 0 14
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Head, DonDon Head 2280 38 9 26 3 158 4.16 2
Gamble, BruceBruce Gamble 1680 28 6 18 4 121 4.32 1
Chadwick, EdEd Chadwick 240 4 0 3 1 22 5.50 0
Team: 4200 70 15 47 8 301 4.30 3

[1]

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 RecordsEdit

The Bruins did not receive any awards this season.

TransactionsEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Pat Stapleton began the season wearing jersey #11. After the departure of Bob Armstrong in October, who'd worn jersey #4 for a decade, Stapleton wore jersey #4 for the rest of the season beginning on the November 5, 1961 game versus Chicago.
  • Bruins who recorded a Hat trick this season include:

GalleryEdit

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1961-62 Boston Bruins Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-09.
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