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 the Prince of Wales Trophy. They were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Montreal Canadiens, four games to three.


Harry Sinden Resigns

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 in an executive role 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

Tom Webster

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

Ted Green-helmet

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

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.

Orr-Espo goal-16Oct1970

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

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.

8Nov1970-Habs fight fans

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. 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.

Orr goal-22Nov1970

Bobby Orr opens the scoring, November 22, 1970.

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.

Sanderson goal-5Dec1970

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.

Bucyk goal-30Dec1970

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

Orr goal-23Jan1971

Bobby Orr from Derek Sanderson, January 23, 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 the Philadelphia Flyers. Phil 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. Eight different goal scorers contributed in a 9-1 thrashing of Toronto on January 17 in which Ken Hodge and the Leafs Jim Dorey were assessed 57 penalty minutes. The Bruins didn't lose the rest of the month, finishing with 83 points. After being in and out of the line-up for several games, 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.

Orr goal-3Feb1971

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 by the Vancouver Canucks, 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.

Orr tip-in goal-10Mar1971

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 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.

Esposito 59th goal

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 7-3 victory on a record-setting night.

Orr goal-21Mar1971

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 Ed Johnston had a rough third period, allowing four goals. The Bruins then suffered their longest losing streak of the season, dropping the next three games. 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.

Espo 72nd-3Apr1971

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.

Hodge goal-Orr Espo-3Apr1971

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 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. 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

East Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Boston Bruins 78 57 14 7 121 399 207 1154
New York Rangers 78 49 18 11 109 259 177 952
Montreal Canadiens 78 42 23 13 97 291 216 1271
Toronto Maple Leafs 78 37 33 8 82 248 211 1133
Buffalo Sabres 78 24 39 15 63 217 291 1188
Vancouver Canucks 78 24 46 8 56 229 296 1371
Detroit Red Wings 78 22 45 11 55 209 308 988

Game Log

Regular Season Schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1WOctober 11, 19707–3 Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 1–0–0
2WOctober 14, 19708–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 2–0–0
3WOctober 16, 19705–1 @ California Golden Seals (1970–71) 3–0–0
4WOctober 18, 19705–3 @ Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 4–0–0
5TOctober 22, 19703–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 4–0–1
6WOctober 25, 19704–3 Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 5–0–1
7LOctober 29, 19703–5 @ Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 5–1–1
8WOctober 31, 19706–0 New York Rangers (1970–71) 6–1–1
9WNovember 1, 19705–0 Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 7–1–1
10LNovember 5, 19700–2 St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 7–2–1
11TNovember 7, 19702–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 7–2–2
12WNovember 8, 19706–1 Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 8–2–2
13WNovember 10, 19706–3 Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 9–2–2
14LNovember 14, 19702–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 9–3–2
15LNovember 15, 19701–2 California Golden Seals (1970–71) 9–4–2
16WNovember 18, 19708–4 @ Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 10–4–2
17WNovember 21, 19705–2 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 11–4–2
18WNovember 22, 19704–2 Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 12–4–2
19TNovember 24, 19705–5 @ St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 12–4–3
20WNovember 26, 19703–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 13–4–3
21TNovember 28, 19703–3 @ New York Rangers (1970–71) 13–4–4
22WNovember 29, 19704–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 14–4–4
23LDecember 2, 19703–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 14–5–4
24TDecember 3, 19704–4 @ Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 14–5–5
25WDecember 5, 19704–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 15–5–5
26WDecember 6, 19706–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 16–5–5
27WDecember 10, 19708–2 Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 17–5–5
28WDecember 12, 19701–0 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 18–5–5
29WDecember 13, 19706–2 Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 19–5–5
30WDecember 16, 19706–4 Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 20–5–5
31WDecember 19, 19707–1 @ St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 21–5–5
32WDecember 20, 19707–2 Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 22–5–5
33WDecember 23, 19702–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 23–5–5
34WDecember 25, 19708–4 Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 24–5–5
35LDecember 26, 19702–4 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 24–6–5
36WDecember 30, 19706–2 @ Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 25–6–5
37WJanuary 1, 19719–4 @ Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 26–6–5
38WJanuary 3, 19715–1 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 27–6–5
39WJanuary 7, 19716–4 Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 28–6–5
40LJanuary 9, 19713–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 28–7–5
41WJanuary 10, 19717–4 California Golden Seals (1970–71) 29–7–5
42WJanuary 14, 19719–5 Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 30–7–5
43LJanuary 16, 19712–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 30–8–5
44WJanuary 17, 19719–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 31–8–5
45WJanuary 23, 19716–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 32–8–5
46WJanuary 24, 19714–2 Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 33–8–5
47TJanuary 27, 19712–2 @ New York Rangers (1970–71) 33–8–6
48WJanuary 28, 19716–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 34–8–6
49WJanuary 31, 19716–0 St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 35–8–6
50WFebruary 3, 19717–3 Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 36–8–6
51WFebruary 6, 19714–3 Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 37–8–6
52TFebruary 7, 19714–4 Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 37–8–7
53WFebruary 9, 19716–3 New York Rangers (1970–71) 38–8–7
54WFebruary 11, 19715–3 @ St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 39–8–7
55WFebruary 14, 19715–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 40–8–7
56LFebruary 16, 19714–5 @ Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 40–9–7
57WFebruary 19, 19715–0 @ California Golden Seals (1970–71) 41–9–7
58LFebruary 20, 19714–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 41–10–7
59WFebruary 23, 19716–3 @ Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 42–10–7
60WFebruary 25, 19718–3 Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 43–10–7
61WFebruary 28, 19714–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 44–10–7
62WMarch 2, 19716–0 @ Minnesota North Stars (1970–71) 45–10–7
63WMarch 4, 19717–0 California Golden Seals (1970–71) 46–10–7
64WMarch 6, 19716–3 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1970–71) 47–10–7
65WMarch 7, 19714–1 St. Louis Blues (1970–71) 48–10–7
66WMarch 10, 19718–1 @ California Golden Seals (1970–71) 49–10–7
67WMarch 11, 19717–2 @ Los Angeles Kings (1970–71) 50–10–7
68WMarch 13, 19716–3 @ Vancouver Canucks (1970–71) 51–10–7
69WMarch 16, 197111–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 52–10–7
70WMarch 18, 19717–3 Detroit Red Wings (1970–71) 53–10–7
71WMarch 20, 19715–3 Philadelphia Flyers (1970–71) 54–10–7
72LMarch 21, 19715–7 Buffalo Sabres (1970–71) 54–11–7
73LMarch 24, 19711–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1970–71) 54–12–7
74LMarch 27, 19713–6 New York Rangers (1970–71) 54–13–7
75LMarch 28, 19711–2 @ New York Rangers (1970–71) 54–14–7
76WMarch 31, 19716–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 55–14–7
77WApril 3, 19718–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1970–71) 56–14–7
78WApril 4, 19717–2 Montreal Canadiens (1970–71) 57–14–7


Montreal Canadiens 4, Boston Bruins 3

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.

Orr goal Game1-7Apr1971

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.

Cashman-Espo-Orr Game2-8Apr1971

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.

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.

Game 5 at Boston

Game 6 at Montreal

Game 7 at Boston

# 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

Regular Season

# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
7 Esposito, PhilPhil Esposito C 78 76 76 152 717125116
4 Orr, BobbyBobby Orr D 78 37 102 139 91124535
9 Bucyk, JohnJohn Bucyk LW 78 51 65 116 8362205
8 Hodge, KenKen Hodge RW 78 43 62 105 11371407
12 Cashman, WayneWayne Cashman LW 77 21 58 79 10059403
19 McKenzie, JohnJohn McKenzie RW 65 31 46 77 120271103
17 Stanfield, FredFred Stanfield C 75 24 52 76 1232803
16 Sanderson, DerekDerek Sanderson C 71 29 34 63 13039160
18 Westfall, EdEd Westfall D/RW 78 25 34 59 4858075
11 Carleton, WayneWayne Carleton LW 69 22 24 46 4435005
20 Smith, DallasDallas Smith D 73 7 38 45 6894021
6 Green, TedTed Green D 78 5 37 42 6037000
21 Marcotte, DonDon Marcotte LW 75 15 13 28 3020062
26 Awrey, DonDon Awrey D 74 4 21 25 14140001
10 Smith, RickRick Smith D 67 4 19 23 4430001
25 Walton, MikeMike Walton C 22 3 5 8 1011000
27 Leach, ReggieReggie Leach RW 23 2 4 6 07000
14 Bailey, GarnetGarnet Bailey LW 36 0 6 6 444000
1 Johnston, EddieEddie Johnston G 38 0 1 1 60000
24 Speer, BillBill Speer D 1 0 0 0 40000
22 Boldirev, IvanIvan Boldirev C 2 0 0 0 00000
25 Schock, DannyDanny Schock LW 6 0 0 0 0 -1000
30 Cheevers, GerryGerry Cheevers G 40 0 0 0 40000
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


# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM PPG SHG GWG
4 Orr, BobbyBobby Orr D 7 5 7 12 25111
7 Esposito, PhilPhil Esposito C 7 3 7 10 6200
17 Stanfield, FredFred Stanfield C 7 3 4 7 0100
9 Bucyk, JohnJohn Bucyk LW 7 2 5 7 0000
8 Hodge, KenKen Hodge RW 7 2 5 7 6000
12 Cashman, WayneWayne Cashman LW 7 3 2 5 15001
19 McKenzie, JohnJohn McKenzie RW 7 2 3 5 22101
16 Sanderson, DerekDerek Sanderson C 7 2 1 3 13000
18 Westfall, EdEd Westfall D/RW 7 1 2 3 2010
20 Smith, DallasDallas Smith D 7 0 3 3 26000
25 Walton, MikeMike Walton C 5 2 0 2 19100
6 Green, TedTed Green D 7 1 0 1 25000
14 Bailey, GarnetGarnet Bailey LW 1 0 0 0 10000
27 Leach, ReggieReggie Leach RW 3 0 0 0 0000
21 Marcotte, DonDon Marcotte LW 4 0 0 0 0000
11 Carleton, WayneWayne Carleton LW 4 0 0 0 0000
10 Smith, RickRick Smith D 6 0 0 0 0000
26 Awrey, DonDon Awrey D 7 0 0 0 17000
1 Johnston, EddieEddie Johnston G 1 0 0 0 0000
30 Cheevers, GerryGerry Cheevers G 6 0 0 0 4000
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


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


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


Draft Picks

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


  • John Bucyk had a six point game during the 8-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on December 10, 1970.
  • Phil Esposito had a six point game during the 9-5 win over the Los Angeles Kings on January 14, 1971.
  • Ken Hodge had a six assist game during the 6-3 win over the New York Rangers on February 9, 1971.
  • John Bucyk had a six point game during the 8-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on February 23, 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.
    • 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.



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.


  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 - Retrieved on 2009-06-09.
  4. National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.222, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
  5. National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p. 187, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
  6. 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
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