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1970–71 Boston Bruins · NHL
Prince of Wales Trophy Winners
Division 1st East
1970–71 record 57–14–7
Goals for 399 (1st)
Goals against 207 (3rd)
General Manager Milt Schmidt
Coach Tom Johnson
Alternate captains Phil Esposito
Ted Green
Ed Westfall
Arena Boston Garden
Average attendance 14,993
Team Leaders
Goals Phil Esposito (76)
Assists Bobby Orr (102)
Points Phil Esposito (152)
Penalties in minutes Don Awrey (141)
Wins Ed Johnston (30)
Goals against average Ed Johnston (2.52)
← Seasons →
1969–70 1971–72

The 1970–71 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 47th season in the NHL. The Bruins finished first in the East Division and won their eleventh Prince of Wales Trophy. They were upset in the Quarter-finals by the Montreal Canadiens, 4 games to 3.

Off-season[edit | edit source]

Harry Sinden Resigns[edit | edit source]

Just days after winning the 1970 Stanley Cup, coach Harry Sinden resigned. He later indicated the reason for leaving was the Bruins refusal to give him a raise. Tom Johnson, who had been assistant general manger for Boston since his retirement after the 1964-65 season, became the team's new coach.

Bobby Orr signed the NHL's first one million dollar contract (to be paid out over five years) during the summer of 1970. [1]

Expansion Draft[edit | edit source]

Tom Webster was lost to the Bruins in the 1970 expansion draft.

The 1970 NHL Expansion Draft was held on June 10, 1970 to fill the rosters of the league's two newest teams, the Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks. Each team was allowed to protect two goalies and fifteen skaters.

The first eighteen rounds involved selecting skaters. Once a skater was selected from a team, they could protect another skater up to a maximum of two. The first two picks were both from Boston as Buffalo selected Tom Webster and Vancouver picked Gary Doak. Garnet Bailey and Danny Schock were then both protected. Barry Wilkins was the only other Bruins selected, by Vancouver in the ninth round. Bruins GM Milt Schmidt was livid that Buffalo GM Punch Imlach had selected Tom Webster as he had an agreement with him to select Garnet Bailey instead and then give the Sabres future considerations. Imlach promptly traded Webster to the Detroit Red Wings for Roger Crozier where Webster scored 30 goals and led the Red Wings in scoring in the 1970-71 season. Webster moved on to play for the New England Whalers of the WHA where he led them in scoring for three seasons and won the first Avco World Trophy.

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

After having his skull crushed, Ted Green wore a helmet the rest of his career.

No change was made to the Bruins uniforms but starting with this season, all NHL teams wore their white/light coloured jerseys for home games. The Bruins 1970-71 season was simply, one of the greatest in NHL history. The team shattered records for most points, wins, goals scored and shorthanded goals while also setting numerous individual records highlighted by Phil Esposito scoring 76 goals and 152 points and Bobby Orr marking 102 assists.

Boston's defense changed little from the previous season and was strengthened by the return of Ted Green. Green missed the entire 1969-70 season after having his skull crushed in a stick-swinging fight with Wayne Maki. Green wore a helmet for the rest of his career and anchored the Bruins second defense pair with Don Awrey and occasionally, Rick Smith. Bobby Orr and Dallas Smith remained as the first defense pair while the rock solid goaltending tandem of Gerry Cheevers and Eddie Johnston remained unchanged.

The Bruins first three lines were also unchanged from the previous season. Phil Esposito centered Ken Hodge and Wayne Cashman, though occasionally, Don Marcotte played on the first line. Fred Stanfield, John Bucyk and John McKenzie manned the second line while Derek Sanderson, Ed Westfall and Wayne Carleton comprised the third. Having returned from the broken ankle he suffered in March 1970, Garnet Bailey played on the fourth line and was an excellent penalty killer.

Phil Esposito opens the season scoring, October 11, 1970.

Boston won the season opener 7-3 over the Detroit Red Wings on October 11, 1970 and fittingly, Phil Esposito scored the Bruins first goal on his way to breaking individual goal and points records. The team demonstrated the depth that would result in an incredible season as six different players scored. The Bruins had a scare as Frank Mahovlich blatantly kneed Bobby Orr but after a short absence, Orr returned to the game. A three game Western road swing followed which the Bruins swept. Phil Esposito busted out for five points during the 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Kings on October 14, then had four more in the 5-1 victory over the California Golden Seals on October 16.

Phil Esposito assists on a Bobby Orr goal, October 16, 1970.

In this game, Carol Vadnais began to fight with a reluctant Esposito. Vadnais was blindsided by Orr who then pummelled him. Orr also chipped in two goals. John McKenzie had four points in the last game of the trip, a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on October 18. Ted Green scored his first goal of the season in the 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on October 25. The Bruins finished October with a 6-0 blanking of the New York Rangers in which Ed Johnston recorded the shutout and Orr had four points. Having gone 6-1-1 in the month, they were first in the East Divsion while Phil Esposito led the league in scoring with 7 goals and 18 points.

Canadiens fight fans at Boston Garden, November 8, 1970.

Not to be outdone, Gerry Cheever had his first shutout of the season during the 5-0 win over the Minnesota North Stars on November 1, 1970. Phil Esposito didn't score despite firing 13 shots on goal. Before the first meeting of the season with the Montreal Canadiens on November 8, Wayne Carleton was diagnosed with blood poisoning from an infected cut on his foot. He was hospitalized and missed the next nine games. The match with Montreal saw plenty of rough play and eleven penalties were called in the first 19 minutes of the first period. With the Bruins leading 3-1, a wild melee broke out in the last minute that turned into a bench-clearing brawl. With multiple fights going on, Derek Sanderson and Claude Larose got into it on the Canadiens bench. Fans got involved in the fight which the police rushed to stop. Incensed, more Montreal players waded into the crowd, throwing punches. Police restored order and amazingly, no misconduct penalties were assessed. Each team received three fighting majors and in the penalty-free second period, Dallas Smith made it 4-1 Bruins, resulting in Rogatien Vachon being pulled. Boston added two more in the third period for a 6-1 drubbing in which Orr and Esposito both had three points.

Bobby Orr opens the scoring, November 22, 1970.

During the 2-1 loss to California on November 15, Dallas Smith scored an apparent tying goal which hit the back crossbar but was disallowed by referee Bryan Lewis. Phil Esposito continued to rack up points with four in the 6-3 win on November 18 against Minnesota and two goals against Philadelphia in the 5-2 win on November 21, 1970. On November 22, Bobby Orr went solo through the Pittsburgh Penguins and scored in leading the Bruins to a 4-2 win in which Esposito had three points. Esposito and Orr continued to produce as Phil caught Bobby with a beautiful pass and Orr backhanded a goal on Gerry Desjardins during the Bruins 3-2 win over the Chicago Black Hawks on November 26. Ivan Boldirev was recalled and played his first NHL game against Chicago. The Bruins finished the month with a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Orr fed a perfect backhand pass to Ed Westfall, who scored on a one-timer, and with six seconds left in the game, Orr backhanded a goal into the empty net. Esposito had two points in this game for a total of 15 goals and 39 points. The Bruins led the league with 32 points and a 14-4-4 record.

Derek Sanderson scores from Rick Smith, December 5, 1970.

Phil Esposito continued to show mastery over his brother Tony, scoring a Hat trick on him on December 2, 1970. However, it was all the goals the Bruins could muster and they lost 4-3. On December 5, the Bruins played in Montreal. The Canadiens were in disarray, having fired coach Claude Ruel in response to John Ferguson and Ralph Backstrom complaining about Ruel's leadership and retiring. Al MacNeil was behind the bench, Ferguson and Backstrom were coaxed out of retirement but the Canadiens were missing Jean Béliveau, Yvan Cournoyer and Jacques Laperriere for the game. The Bruins took advantage early, with Wayne Cashman scoring on a goal mouth scramble from an Esposito shot. The Habs tied it up at 13:30 but Derek Sanderson restored the lead 14 seconds later. Esposito scored the eventual game winner late in the second period. Nursing a thigh injury, Bobby Orr didn't play in the third period but excellent team defense and a Ken Hodge empty-netter, assisted by Esposito, saw the Bruins win 4-2.

Phil Esposito scores on Joe Daley, December 10, 1970.

The win over the Habs energized the Bruins, who went on a ten game winning streak. Phil Esposito had his second hat trick of the month during the 6-3 win over Pittsburgh on December 6, a game in which he fired 12 shots. On December 10, the Bruins had their first ever meeting with the Buffalo Sabres. Despite the Bruins wildly out-shooting the Sabres, Joe Daley played fantastic in the first two periods, keeping the score tied at 2-2. However, an explosion of six goals in the third period saw the Bruins win 8-2. Daley was peppered with 72 shots, including 15 by Bobby Orr alone. Fred Stanfield had five points while John Bucyk had six.

John Bucyk scores his 20th from Bobby Orr, December 30, 1970.

Esposito had his third hat trick of the month during the 6-2 win over Detroit on December 13. John McKenzie had a hat trick of his own during the 7-2 win over Minnesota on December 20 and Esposito nearly had another on Christmas Day versus Pittsburgh in a 8-4 victory. The winning streak ended on Boxing Day as Esposito was held scoreless for the only time in the month during the 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh. He had two goals in the last game of the month on December 30, a 6-2 win over Minnesota. Esposito had 34 goals and 70 points while Boston continued to lead the league with 57 points.

Phil Esposito scores the winner, January 10, 1971.

On New Years Day 1971, the Bruins continued their domination of the Sabres with a 9-4 victory in which John Bucyk had five assists. In the next game on January 3, Bucyk had a hat trick in the 5-1 win over Philadelphia. Phil Esposito scored the tying and winning goals during the 6-4 triumph over Vancouver on January 7. During the January 10 match versus California, Esposito showed his strength and beat four Seals defenders to score the winning goal in a 7-4 victory. Esposito exploded for a hat trick and six points during the 9-5 win over the Los Angeles Kings on January 14, 1971 in which Bobby Orr had four assists.

Bobby Orr from Derek Sanderson, January 23, 1971.

Eight different goal scorers contributed in a 9-1 thrashing of Toronto on January 17 led by John Bucyk's four points. Boston poured 54 shots on Bruce Gamble in this game in which Ken Hodge and the Leafs Jim Dorey were assessed 57 penalty minutes. John McKenzie was lost to injury in this game and didn't return to the line-up until February 19. Reggie Leach filled in for McKenzie on the second line. Boston thumped Chicago 6-2 on January 23, outshooting the Hawks 47-22 and holding them to one shot in the third period. The Bruins didn't lose the rest of the month, finishing with 83 points.

Jean Béliveau on Ted Green Night, January 24, 1971.

Before the January 24 game versus Montreal, "Ted Green Night" was celebrated. With Green's family present, including his three young children, he was showered with gifts and tributes including a new car, an addition to his home and a plaque from Canadiens captain Jean Béliveau. Green spoke and was extremely emotional, thankful for being able to return from the horrific skull injury inflicted upon him in the 1969-70 pre-season. Fittingly, the Bruins defeated the Habs 4-2. With more ice time due to John McKenzie's injury, Reggie Leach scored his first career NHL goal during the 6-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on January 31. Orr and Esposito each had three points in the game, giving Esposito 45 goals and 96 points. That day, in a three-way trade with Philadelphia and Toronto, the Bruins acquired Mike Walton.

Bobby Orr's second goal of the game, February 3, 1971.

The Bruins started February with a six game point streak. During the 6-3 win on February 9 versus the Rangers, Ken Hodge had six assists, Phil Esposito notched five points while Bobby Orr had two goals and an assist. Mike Walton debuted during the 5-3 win over St. Louis on February 11 in which Ed Westfall had a hat trick. Despite three points from Orr, the Bruins first loss of the month was on February 16 to Vancouver, 5-4. In the rematch on February 25, the Bruins set an NHL record by scoring three goals in 20 seconds. John Bucyk started the spree, tapping in a cross-crease pass by John McKenzie on the power play. Then, Derek Sanderson won the draw at centre ice and passed to Ted Green. He rushed into the Canucks zone, unleashed a shot on Dunc Wilson and Ed Westfall potted in the rebound. Sanderson again won the center ice draw which he drew back to Green. He rushed up the right wing and slapped the third goal low to Wilson's stick side. The Bruins won 8-3 with John Bucyk scoring a hat trick and six points. A 4-3 win over Toronto on February 28 saw Boston finish the month with 92 points. Phil Esposito had been consistently scoring and had 52 goals and 117 points.

Bobby Orr ties his record for goals in a season, March 10, 1971.

With three wins at the end of February, the Bruins added ten more consecutive wins in March. The month began with two straight shutouts, 6-0 on March 2 versus Minnesota and 7-0 on March 4 against California in which John Bucyk had his third hat trick of the season and Bobby Orr had four points. Not to be out done, Phil Esposito had his sixth hat trick of the season, a natural one, in the next game on March 6 in a 6-3 win over Pittsburgh while Orr again had four points. The Bruins beat California 8-1 on March 10 in a game which saw Orr score twice for 34 goals on the season. Orr's first goal was scored on an amazing mid-air tip-in on Chris Worthy while he rounded the Seals net. The two goals broke his own record for goals by a defenseman and gave him 119 points, one shy of his record for points. Phil Esposito scored his 58th goal, tying the record for goals in a season with Bobby Hull and giving him 125 points, one short of the NHL record which he set in the 1968-69 season.

Phil Esposito breaks the record for goals in a season with his 59th, March 11, 1971.

On March 11 in Los Angeles, at 7:03 of the first period, Phil Esposito tipped Ted Green's shot past the Kings Denis DeJordy to break the record for goals in a season with his 59th. With 12 seconds left in the period, Esposito and Bobby Orr assisted on John Bucyk's power play goal, giving Esposito 127 points on the season, the most in NHL history. In the second period, Orr assisted on a goal by Wayne Carleton giving him 121 points, the most in NHL history by a defenseman. A little over three minutes later, Esposito scored again, becoming the first NHL player to score 60 goals in a season. Orr added another goal and at 6:11 of the third period, he recorded his 88th assist on a John Buyck goal. This broke the NHL mark for assists in a season, which Orr had set the season before, as the Bruins romped to a 7-2 victory on a record-setting night.

Bobby Orr from Ken Hodge, March 21, 1971.

Bobby Orr continued his torrid assist pace by adding four more during the Bruins 6-3 win on March 13, 1971 game against Vancouver. Boston's largest win of the season occurred on March 16 in an 11-4 thrashing of the Red Wings in Detroit. Surprisingly, Orr had only one assist while eight different Bruins scored and Phil Esposito had four points. Returning to Boston, the Bruins beat Detroit again, as John McKenzie had a hat trick in the 7-3 win. The Bruins finally lost 7-5 on March 21 against Buffalo as Ken Hodge reached the 100 point mark. Ed Johnston had a rough third period, allowing four goals, and a Wayne Cashman-Reg Fleming fight turned into a bench-clearing brawl.

Phil Esposito scores his 68th goal, March 27, 1971.

The Bruins then suffered their longest losing streak of the season, dropping the next three games. In a home and home series, on March 27, the Rangers scored five goals in the first period and beat the Bruins 6-3 in Boston. The next night in New York, Phil Esposito scored his 69th goal to tie the game 1-1 but ex-Bruin Glen Sather put in the winner as the Rangers edged the Bruins 2-1. The streak ended during the last game of the month on March 31 against Montreal. Dallas Smith scored twice as did Phil Esposito, one of which was his 70th goal of the season, the first time in NHL history a player reached the mark. The Bruins won 6-3 as Orr had his 97th assist.

Phil Esposito scores his 72nd goal, April 3, 1971.

Entering April, the Bruins had wrapped up first place in both the East Division and the league. Montreal would be their first round opponent no matter what happened in the remaining regular season games. The only thing left to play for was individual milestones. On April 3, the Bruins travelled to Toronto. Orr picked up his 98th assist at 5:35 of the first period on the power play, gaining the zone, drawing two Leafs to him, dishing a pass to Fred Stanfield who found Phil Esposito in the slot for a one-timer goal, his 72nd. In the second period the Bruins exploded for four goals. Esposito picked up his 73rd on the power play, tapping in a perfect pass from John McKenzie. Orr notched his 99th assist after head manning the puck to Stanfield whose drop pass John Bucyk fired past Bernie Parent. Orr hit the 100 assist mark in the third period after his rush produced a goal mouth scramble which saw Ken Hodge smack in a goal. Wayne Carleton had a hat trick in the game which the Bruins won 8-3.

Bobby Orr's 100th assist on Ken Hodge's goal, April 3, 1971.

Boston wrapped up the regular season with a 7-2 win over Montreal on April 4 in which the Canadiens Phil Myre manned the net. Esposito had a hat trick and an assist for 76 goals and 76 assists total. Orr picked up two assists for 102 on the season. The Bruins set an NHL record by having 10 different skaters score 20 goals or more in a season.[2] Boston also had the top four league leading scorers, the second time in NHL history this was achieved (the only other times being by the Bruins in the 1939-40 and 1973-74 season), and seven of the top ten leading scorers, the only time in NHL history this has ever been achieved. Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, John Bucyk and Ken Hodge all made the First All-Star Team while Bucyk won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, Esposito the Art Ross Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award and Orr the James Norris Memorial Trophy and Hart Memorial Trophy as the league MVP.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

East Division
Team GP W L T GF GA Pts
Boston Bruins 78 57 14 7 399 207 121
New York Rangers 78 49 18 11 259 177 109
Montreal Canadiens 78 42 23 13 291 216 97
Toronto Maple Leafs 78 37 33 8 248 211 82
Buffalo Sabres 78 24 39 15 217 291 63
Vancouver Canucks 78 24 16 8 229 296 56
Detroit Red Wings 78 22 45 11 209 308 55

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
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 W October 11, 1970 7–3 Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 1–0–0
2 W October 14, 1970 8–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 2–0–0
3 W October 16, 1970 5–1 @ California Golden Seals (1970–71) 3–0–0
4 W October 18, 1970 5–3 @ Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 4–0–0
5 T October 22, 1970 3–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 4–0–1
6 W October 25, 1970 4–3 Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 5–0–1
7 L October 29, 1970 3–5 @ Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 5–1–1
8 W October 31, 1970 6–0 New York Rangers (1970–71) 6–1–1
9 W November 1, 1970 5–0 Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 7–1–1
10 L November 5, 1970 0–2 St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 7–2–1
11 T November 7, 1970 2–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 7–2–2
12 W November 8, 1970 6–1 Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 8–2–2
13 W November 10, 1970 6–3 Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 9–2–2
14 L November 14, 1970 2–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 9–3–2
15 L November 15, 1970 1–2 California Golden Seals (1970–71) 9–4–2
16 W November 18, 1970 8–4 @ Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 10–4–2
17 W November 21, 1970 5–2 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 11–4–2
18 W November 22, 1970 4–2 Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 12–4–2
19 T November 24, 1970 5–5 @ St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 12–4–3
20 W November 26, 1970 3–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 13–4–3
21 T November 28, 1970 3–3 @ New York Rangers (1970–71) 13–4–4
22 W November 29, 1970 4–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 14–4–4
23 L December 2, 1970 3–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 14–5–4
24 T December 3, 1970 4–4 @ Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 14–5–5
25 W December 5, 1970 4–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 15–5–5
26 W December 6, 1970 6–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 16–5–5
27 W December 10, 1970 8–2 Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 17–5–5
28 W December 12, 1970 1–0 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 18–5–5
29 W December 13, 1970 6–2 Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 19–5–5
30 W December 16, 1970 6–4 Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 20–5–5
31 W December 19, 1970 7–1 @ St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 21–5–5
32 W December 20, 1970 7–2 Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 22–5–5
33 W December 23, 1970 2–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 23–5–5
34 W December 25, 1970 8–4 Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 24–5–5
35 L December 26, 1970 2–4 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 24–6–5
36 W December 30, 1970 6–2 @ Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 25–6–5
37 W January 1, 1971 9–4 @ Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 26–6–5
38 W January 3, 1971 5–1 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 27–6–5
39 W January 7, 1971 6–4 Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 28–6–5
40 L January 9, 1971 3–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 28–7–5
41 W January 10, 1971 7–4 California Golden Seals (1970–71) 29–7–5
42 W January 14, 1971 9–5 Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 30–7–5
43 L January 16, 1971 2–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 30–8–5
44 W January 17, 1971 9–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 31–8–5
45 W January 23, 1971 6–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 32–8–5
46 W January 24, 1971 4–2 Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 33–8–5
47 T January 27, 1971 2–2 @ New York Rangers (1970–71) 33–8–6
48 W January 28, 1971 6–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 34–8–6
49 W January 31, 1971 6–0 St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 35–8–6
50 W February 3, 1971 7–3 Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 36–8–6
51 W February 6, 1971 4–3 Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 37–8–6
52 T February 7, 1971 4–4 Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 37–8–7
53 W February 9, 1971 6–3 New York Rangers (1970–71) 38–8–7
54 W February 11, 1971 5–3 @ St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 39–8–7
55 W February 14, 1971 5–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 40–8–7
56 L February 16, 1971 4–5 @ Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 40–9–7
57 W February 19, 1971 5–0 @ California Golden Seals (1970–71) 41–9–7
58 L February 20, 1971 4–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 41–10–7
59 W February 23, 1971 6–3 @ Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 42–10–7
60 W February 25, 1971 8–3 Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 43–10–7
61 W February 28, 1971 4–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 44–10–7
62 W March 2, 1971 6–0 @ Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 45–10–7
63 W March 4, 1971 7–0 California Golden Seals (1970–71) 46–10–7
64 W March 6, 1971 6–3 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 47–10–7
65 W March 7, 1971 4–1 St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 48–10–7
66 W March 10, 1971 8–1 @ California Golden Seals (1970–71) 49–10–7
67 W March 11, 1971 7–2 @ Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 50–10–7
68 W March 13, 1971 6–3 @ Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 51–10–7
69 W March 16, 1971 11–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 52–10–7
70 W March 18, 1971 7–3 Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 53–10–7
71 W March 20, 1971 5–3 Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 54–10–7
72 L March 21, 1971 5–7 Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 54–11–7
73 L March 24, 1971 1–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 54–12–7
74 L March 27, 1971 3–6 New York Rangers (1970–71) 54–13–7
75 L March 28, 1971 1–2 @ New York Rangers (1970–71) 54–14–7
76 W March 31, 1971 6–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 55–14–7
77 W April 3, 1971 8–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 56–14–7
78 W April 4, 1971 7–2 Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 57–14–7

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Montreal Canadiens 4, Boston Bruins 3[edit | edit source]

The Bruins and Canadiens faced each other in the playoffs for the fifteenth time, having last met in the 1969 Semi-finals where Montreal won in six games. Having shattered nearly ever team record in the regular season, the Bruins were heavy favorites to take the series. A comeback from a four goal deficit in Game 2 led by Jean Béliveau and outstanding goaltending by rookie Ken Dryden in several games resulted in Montreal upsetting Boston four games to three.

Bobby Orr opens the scoring, Game 1 of the 1971 Quarter-finals, April 7, 1971.

Game 1 at the Boston Garden saw Gerry Cheevers start in goal for the Bruins and Ken Dryden for the Canadiens. Boston soundly beat Montreal 7-2 in the last game of the regular season with Phil Myre in net so the Habs turned to Dryden, despite him only having played six NHL games. The game was a goaltenders duel which Cheevers won, stopping 30 shots to Dryden's 39. Bobby Orr opened the scoring with a precise slapshot from the point at 3:57 of the first period on the power play. Montreal responded with a power play goal of their own by John Ferguson early in the second period. Wayne Cashman scored the game winner near the halfway point of the period before Fred Stanfield added an insurance goal at 8:47 of the third period as the Bruins won 3-1.

Wayne Cashman from Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr, Game 2 of the 1971 Quarter-finals, April 8, 1971.

Game 2 at Boston saw Bruins coach Tom Johnson start Eddie Johnston in net. Given Cheevers' excellent performance in Game 1, many questioned the move, especially after Montreal executed one of the largest comebacks in NHL playoff history. After Yvan Cournoyer scored at 3:32 of the first period, Bobby Orr tied it up a minute later with a one-timer slapshot from the slot. Ted Green made it 2-1 Bruins in the next minute on a give and go with Ken Hodge. In the second period, Boston broke the game open with goals by John McKenzie, Wayne Cashman and Derek Sanderson, all of which Orr assisted on. Before the period ended, Henri Richard stripped Orr of the puck at the Boston blueline and deked Johnston to make it 5-2 Bruins. Jean Beliveau poked in a rebound on the power play early in the third period before scoring his second goal at little over a minute later to make it 5-4 Bruins. At 9:59, Ken Hodge's weak pass back to the point was picked off by Jacques Lemaire who scored on a breakaway to tie the game. John Ferguson gave Montreal the lead with a close-in one-timer before Frank Mahovlich scored on a breakaway to give the Canadiens a shocking 7-5 win. Ed Johnston couldn't be faulted for any of the goals against. Loose defensive coverage, especially by Derek Sanderson's line, who were a combined -10, resulted in the loss.

Game 3 at the Montreal Forum was a tight-checking match filled with penalties, 17 total were called. Despite the many manpower advantages, no power play goals were scored. Cheevers was back in the net for the Bruins but he was outplayed by Dryden who faced 38 shots. After Phil Esposito opened the scoring 29 seconds in, the parade to the penalty box started, which included a fight between Ted Green and Peter Mahovlich. Frank Mahovlich tied the score 4:04 into the second period before Jacques Laperriere put Montreal ahead at 12:05. Boston had several power plays after Laperriere's goal but couldn't take advantage. No power plays resulted in the third period in which Frank Mahovlich scored his second of the game to give Montreal a 3-1 victory and a two games to one lead in the series.

First goal of Bobby Orr's hat trick, Game 4 of the 1971 Quarter-finals, April 11, 1971.

Game 4 at Montreal saw Bobby Orr give one of his best single game performances. As with Game 3, the first two periods were filled with penalties, with 19 called. Frank Mahovlich scored the only goal of the first period, on the power play at 5:30. Orr tied the game at 11:01 of the second period on an amazing play. Dryden came out of the net and poked the puck into the corner, which caromed into the air parallel to the goal line. Orr swatted the puck mid-air, which bounced through Dryden's legs, hit the post and went in. Mike Walton put the Bruins up 2-1 on the power play late in the period. In the third period, Orr's one-timer from the point made it 3-1 Boston, 37 seconds in. Yvan Cournoyer made it close at 6:13 but Fred Stanfield scored an insurance goal at 17:21. With Don Awrey in the box for the only penalty of the third period, Montreal pulled Dryden for an extra attacker. Orr scored a short handed, empty net goal with 3 seconds left to seal Boston's 5-2 win. His Hat trick was only the second in NHL playoff history by a defenseman to that point, George Boucher having scored the first in the 1921 NHL Championship.

Ed Westfall's short handed goal from Bobby Orr, Game 5 of the 1971 Quarter-finals, April 13, 1971.

Game 5 at Boston was dominated by the Bruins, driven by another great performance from Bobby Orr. Wayne Cashman opened the scoring in the game's first minute before Yvan Cournoyer tied it up at 5:38. Orr then assisted on goals by Phil Esposito and Mike Walton. In the second period, John McKenzie staked Boston to a 4-1 lead before taking a penalty at 16:59. Orr grabbed the puck in the neutral zone, rushed around the Habs net and fed a backhand to Ed Westfall who scored a shorthanded goal to make it 5-1 Bruins. Goals by Frank Mahovlich and John Ferguson early in the third period cut the lead to 5-3. Unlike Game 2, the Bruins prevented a comeback with the first goals of the series from John Bucyk and Ken Hodge. Boston's 7-3 win saw them out shoot Montreal by a wide margin, 56-27, and take a three games to two lead in the series.

Game 6 at Montreal was the only game the Canadiens dominated in the series as they out shot the Bruins 43-32. Montreal goals by Peter Mahovlich and Henri Richard were countered by Phil Esposito and Fred Stanfield as the game reached the halfway mark. Montreal broke the game open with goals by Jacques Lemaire, J.C. Tremblay and then Richard and Mahovlich's second goals of the game. Derek Sanderson got one back with less than four minutes to go in the game before Marc Tardif and Jacques Laperriere completed the 8-3 rout and tied the series at three games each.

Game 7 at Boston saw Ken Dryden play his best game of the series as the Bruins out shot the Canadiens 48-34. Ken Hodge opened the scoring at 6:50 of the first period after picking off a clearing pass and firing a shot past Dryden's glove. At 14:48, Frank Mahovlich knocked a pass out of mid-air past Cheevers to tie the game before Réjean Houle scored his first career playoff goal by tipping in a Peter Mahovlich slapshot. J.C. Tremblay scored the only goal of the second period, firing a shot over Cheever's glove. Frank Mahovlich scored 14 seconds into the third period after Jacques Lemaire stripped Orr of the puck at the Bruins blueline. Fred Stanfield cut the lead to 4-2 less than a minute later but despite peppering Dryden with shots, the Canadiens held on for a 4-2 win to take the series.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 7 Montreal Canadiens 1-3 Boston Bruins 0-1
2 April 8 Montreal Canadiens 7-5 Boston Bruins 1-1
3 April 10 Boston Bruins 1-3 Montreal Canadiens 1-2
4 April 11 Boston Bruins 5-2 Montreal Canadiens 2-2
5 April 13 Montreal Canadiens 3-7 Boston Bruins 2-3
6 April 15 Boston Bruins 3-8 Montreal Canadiens 3-3
7 April 18 Montreal Canadiens 4-2 Boston Bruins 4-3

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
7 Esposito, PhilPhil Esposito C 78 76 76 152 71 71 25 1 16
4 Orr, BobbyBobby Orr D 78 37 102 139 91 124 5 3 5
9 Bucyk, JohnJohn Bucyk LW 78 51 65 116 8 36 22 0 5
8 Hodge, KenKen Hodge RW 78 43 62 105 113 71 4 0 7
12 Cashman, WayneWayne Cashman LW 77 21 58 79 100 59 4 0 3
19 McKenzie, JohnJohn McKenzie RW 65 31 46 77 120 27 11 0 3
17 Stanfield, FredFred Stanfield C 75 24 52 76 12 32 8 0 3
16 Sanderson, DerekDerek Sanderson C 71 29 34 63 130 39 1 6 0
18 Westfall, EdEd Westfall D/RW 78 25 34 59 48 58 0 7 5
11 Carleton, WayneWayne Carleton LW 69 22 24 46 44 35 0 0 5
20 Smith, DallasDallas Smith D 73 7 38 45 68 94 0 2 1
6 Green, TedTed Green D 78 5 37 42 60 37 0 0 0
21 Marcotte, DonDon Marcotte LW 75 15 13 28 30 20 0 6 2
26 Awrey, DonDon Awrey D 74 4 21 25 141 40 0 0 1
10 Smith, RickRick Smith D 67 4 19 23 44 30 0 0 1
25 Walton, MikeMike Walton C 22 3 5 8 10 11 0 0 0
27 Leach, ReggieReggie Leach RW 23 2 4 6 0 7 0 0 0
14 Bailey, GarnetGarnet Bailey LW 36 0 6 6 44 4 0 0 0
1 Johnston, EddieEddie Johnston G 38 0 1 1 6 0 0 0 0
24 Speer, BillBill Speer D 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0
22 Boldirev, IvanIvan Boldirev C 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
25 Schock, DannyDanny Schock LW 6 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0
30 Cheevers, GerryGerry Cheevers G 40 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Johnston, EddieEddie Johnston 2280 38 30 6 2 96 2.53 4
Cheevers, GerryGerry Cheevers 2400 40 27 8 5 109 2.72 3
Team: 4680 78 57 14 7 205 2.63 7

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM PPG SHG GWG
4 Orr, BobbyBobby Orr D 7 5 7 12 25 1 1 1
7 Esposito, PhilPhil Esposito C 7 3 7 10 6 2 0 0
17 Stanfield, FredFred Stanfield C 7 3 4 7 0 1 0 0
9 Bucyk, JohnJohn Bucyk LW 7 2 5 7 0 0 0 0
8 Hodge, KenKen Hodge RW 7 2 5 7 6 0 0 0
12 Cashman, WayneWayne Cashman LW 7 3 2 5 15 0 0 1
19 McKenzie, JohnJohn McKenzie RW 7 2 3 5 22 1 0 1
16 Sanderson, DerekDerek Sanderson C 7 2 1 3 13 0 0 0
18 Westfall, EdEd Westfall D/RW 7 1 2 3 2 0 1 0
20 Smith, DallasDallas Smith D 7 0 3 3 26 0 0 0
25 Walton, MikeMike Walton C 5 2 0 2 19 1 0 0
6 Green, TedTed Green D 7 1 0 1 25 0 0 0
14 Bailey, GarnetGarnet Bailey LW 1 0 0 0 10 0 0 0
27 Leach, ReggieReggie Leach RW 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21 Marcotte, DonDon Marcotte LW 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 Carleton, WayneWayne Carleton LW 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 Smith, RickRick Smith D 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
26 Awrey, DonDon Awrey D 7 0 0 0 17 0 0 0
1 Johnston, EddieEddie Johnston G 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
30 Cheevers, GerryGerry Cheevers G 6 0 0 0 4 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Cheevers, GerryGerry Cheevers 360 6 3 3 21 3.50 0
Johnston, EddieEddie Johnston 60 1 0 1 7 7.00 0
Team: 420 7 3 4 28 4.00 0

[3]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = plus/minus; 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]

Four Bruins were voted to the First All-Star Team for the 1970-71 season.

Transactions[edit | edit source]

Draft Picks[edit | edit source]

See also: 1970 NHL Amateur Draft
Round Overall Player
1 3 Reggie Leach
1 4 Rick MacLeish
1 9 Ron Plumb
1 13 Bob Stewart
2 27 Dan Bouchard
3 41 Ray Brownlee
4 55 Gord Davies
5 69 Bob Roselle
6 83 Murray Wing
7 96 Glenn Siddall

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • For scoring more than 100 points during the season, the Bruins gave gold pucks to Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, John Bucyk and Ken Hodge.
  • John Bucyk had a 6 point game during the 8-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on December 10, 1970.
  • Phil Esposito had a 6 point game during the 9-5 win over the Los Angeles Kings on January 14, 1971.
  • Ken Hodge had a 6 assist game during the 6-3 win over the New York Rangers on February 9, 1971.
  • John Bucyk had a 6 point game during the 8-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on February 23, 1971.
  • Phil Esposito scores his 50th goal of the season on his birthday, February 20.
  • Bruins who recorded a Hat trick this season include:
    • Phil Esposito during the 8-5 win over the California Golden Seals on October 14, 1970.
    • Phil Esposito during the 4-3 loss to the Chicago Black Hawks on December 2, 1970.
    • Phil Esposito during the 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on December 6, 1970.
    • Phil Esposito during the 6-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on December 13, 1970.
    • John McKenzie during the 7-2 win over the Minnesota North Stars on December 20, 1970.
    • John Bucyk during the 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on January 3, 1971.
    • Phil Esposito during the 9-5 win over the Los Angeles Kings on January 14, 1971.
    • Ed Westfall during the 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on February 11, 1971.
    • John Bucyk during the 8-3 win over Vancouver on February 23, 1971.
    • John Bucyk during the 7-0 win over California on March 4, 1971.
    • Phil Esposito during the 6-3 win over Pittsburgh on March 6, 1971.
    • John McKenzie during the 7-3 win over Detroit on March 18, 1971.
    • Wayne Carleton during the 8-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 3, 1971.
    • Phil Esposito during the 7-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on April 4, 1971.
    • Bobby Orr during the 5-2 win over Montreal, Game 4 of the Quarter-finals, April 11, 1971.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Five minutes of coverage of the Bruins-Canadiens bench-clearing brawl during the last minute of the first period, November 8, 1970.

The first half of the Bruins-Leafs game on November 14, 1970.

The second half of the Bruins-Leafs game on November 14, 1970.

The Bruins set the record for the fastest three goals, scored in 20 seconds versus the Vancouver Canucks, February 25, 1971.

Highlights of the goals from the Bruins-Canadiens Game 2 of the 1971 Quarter-finals on April 8, 1971.

Highlights from the Bruins-Canadiens Game 7, Canadiens-North Stars Game 6 and Canadiens-Black Hawks Game 7 from the 1971 Stanley Cup playoffs.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Numbelievable!, p.79 , Michael X. Ferraro and John Venziano, Triumph Books, 2007, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0
  2. National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.174, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
  3. 1970-71 Boston Bruins Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-09.
  4. National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p. 187, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
  5. 5.0 5.1 National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p. 183, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
  6. National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.222, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
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