|1970–71 Boston Bruins · NHL|
|Prince of Wales Trophy Winners|
|Goals for||399 (1st)|
|Goals against||207 (3rd)|
|General Manager||Milt Schmidt|
|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 →|
The 1970–71 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 47th season in the NHL. The Bruins finished first in the East Division and won the Prince of Wales Trophy. They were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Montreal Canadiens, four games to three.
Bobby Orr signed the NHL's first one million dollar contract (to be paid out over five years) during the summer of 1970. 
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.
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.
Boston won the season opener 7-3 over the Detroit Red Wings on October 11, 1970 and 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. 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.
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. The first meeting of the season with the Montreal Canadiens on November 8 saw plenty of rough play. 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.
Phil Esposito continued to rack up points with four in the 6-3 win on November 18 against Minnesota and two goals against the Philadelphia Flyers 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 Blackhawks 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.
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.
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. 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 a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh. He had 2 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.
The 1970-71 Bruins set an NHL record by having 10 different skaters score 20 goals or more in a season. The record was broken by the Bruins in the 1977-78 season when they had 11 different skaters with 20 goals or more. The Bruins also had the top four league leading scorers, the first time in history this was achieved (the only other time being by the Bruins in the 1973-74 season), and seven of the top ten leading scorers, the only time in NHL history this has ever been achieved.
|New York Rangers||78||49||18||11||109||259||177||952|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||78||37||33||8||82||248||211||1133|
|Detroit Red Wings||78||22||45||11||55||209||308||988|
|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|
The postseason ended too soon for the Bruins as they lost in the opening round to the Montreal Canadiens and their rookie goaltender Ken Dryden in a seven-game upset.
|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|
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 RecordsEdit
- Prince of Wales Trophy: Boston Bruins (11th win)
- Art Ross Memorial Trophy: Phil Esposito (2nd win)
- Hart Memorial Trophy: Bobby Orr (2nd win)
- James Norris Memorial Trophy: Bobby Orr (4th win)
- Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Johnny Bucyk
- Lester B. Pearson Award: Phil Esposito
- Johnny Bucyk, Left Wing, NHL First Team All-Star
- Phil Esposito, Center, NHL First Team All-Star
- Ken Hodge, Right Wing, NHL First Team All-Star
- Bobby Orr, Defence, NHL First Team All-Star
- Most goals for, shorthanded goals, wins, points and fast three goals by a team (20 seconds) in a season
- Phil Esposito, Club Record, most goals (76) and points in a season (152)
- Phil Esposito, NHL Record, most shots on goal in a season (550)
- Bobby Orr, Club Record, most assists in a season (102)
- Bobby Orr, NHL Record, most assists by a defenseman in a season (102)
- Bobby Orr, NHL Record, most points by a defenseman in a season (139)
- Trade Jim Lorentz to the St. Louis Blues for a 1st round pick in the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft (Ron Plumb) on May 26, 1970.
- Lose Bill Lesuk to the Philadelphia Flyers and claim Dick Cherry from Philadelphia on June 9, 1970.
- Trade Rick MacLeish and Danny Schock to the Philadelphia Flyers for Mike Walton on January 31, 1971.
- See also: 1970 NHL Amateur Draft
- John Bucyk had a six point game during the 8-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on December 10, 1970.
- Ken Hodge had a six assist game during the 6-3 win over the New York Rangers on February 9, 1971.
- 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 Blackhawks 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.
- Wayne Carleton during the 8-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 3, 1971.
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.
- ↑ Numbelievable!, p.79 , Michael X. Ferraro and John Venziano, Triumph Books, 2007, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0
- ↑ National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.174, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
- ↑ 1970-71 Boston Bruins Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-09.
- ↑ National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.222, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
- ↑ National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p. 187, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p. 183, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
|The Franchise||Franchise • Original Six • Team History • All-time Roster • Seasons • Players • Records • GMs • Head Coaches|
|Arenas||Boston Arena • Boston Garden • TD Garden|
|Head Coaches||Ross • Denneny • Patrick • Weiland • Clapper • Boucher • Patrick • Schmidt • Watson• Sinden • Johnson • Guidolin • Cherry • Creighton • Cheevers • Goring • O'Reilly • Milbury • Bowness • Sutter • Kasper • Burns • Keenan • Ftorek • O'Connell • Sullivan • Lewis • Julien • Cassidy|
|Retired numbers||2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 15 • 16 • 24 • 77 • 99|
|Affiliates||Providence Bruins • Atlanta Gladiators|
|Rivals||Montreal Canadiens • Toronto Maple Leafs • Philadelphia Flyers • New York Rangers|
|Stanley Cups||1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, 2011|
|1970–71 NHL season by team|
|East||Boston • Buffalo • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto • Vancouver|
|West||California • Chicago • Los Angeles • Minnesota • Philadelphia • Pittsburgh • St. Louis|
|See also||1970 NHL Amateur Draft • All-Star Game • 1971 Stanley Cup Finals|