|1971–72 Boston Bruins · NHL|
|Stanley Cup Champions|
|Prince of Wales Trophy Winners|
|Goals for||330 (1st)|
|Goals against||204 (4th)|
|General Manager||Milt Schmidt|
|Alternate captains||John Bucyk |
|Goals||Phil Esposito (66)|
|Assists||Bobby Orr (80)|
|Points||Phil Esposito (130)|
|Penalties in minutes||Dallas Smith (132)|
|Wins||Ed Johnston |
Gerry Cheevers (27)
|Goals against average||Gerry Cheevers (2.50)|
|← Seasons →|
The 1971–72 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 48th season in the NHL. The Bruins finished in first place in the East Division and the league with 119 points and won their twelfth Prince of Wales Trophy. For the second time in three years, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup defeating the New York Rangers in the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals 4 games to 2.
- 1 Off-season
- 2 Regular Season
- 3 Playoffs
- 4 Player Stats
- 5 Awards and Records
- 6 Transactions
- 7 Draft Picks
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Gallery
- 10 Video
- 11 References
Bobby Orr signed a new five year contract on August 26, 1971, for US$200,000 per season (US$1,262,613 in 2019 dollars). It was the NHL's first million dollar contract.
The Bruins saw very little change in the line-up from the previous season. Wayne Carleton was lost in the intra-league draft whose spot was taken by Reggie Leach. Defenseman Doug Roberts was purchased from the California Golden Seals as a depth player.
After shattering over thirty NHL records the previous season, the Bruins followed up with another fantastic season of 119 points, falling two short of the record point total set in the 1970-71 season.
Boston's defense was unchanged from the previous season with Bobby Orr and Dallas Smith forming the first pair. Ted Green and Don Awrey made up the second pair while Rick Smith was the fifth defenseman. Green missed the first month of the season with a stomach injury resulting in Bob Stewart making his NHL debut and playing eight games in October 1971.
The Bruins first two lines were also unchanged from the previous season. Phil Esposito centered Ken Hodge and Wayne Cashman while Fred Stanfield, John Bucyk and John McKenzie manned the second line. With Wayne Carleton's departure, Mike Walton took his place on the third line with Derek Sanderson and Ed Westfall. Don Marcotte, Garnet Bailey and Reggie Leach comprised the fourth line for most of the season though Marcotte did spend some time in the minors.
The season started with a home and home series with the New York Rangers which the Bruins split. Bobby Orr had a rough game in the 4-1 loss on October 10, 1971 and was a -3. The Bruins rallied with a 6-1 win on October 13 in which Ed Westfall had three points. During the 6-2 win on October 14 versus the Buffalo Sabres, Phil Esposito exploded for two goals and five points while Ken Hodge had four assists. On October 17 versus the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston jumped out to a 2-0 lead on first period goals by Ken Hodge (shorthanded) and John McKenzie. But steady goaltending by 42 year old Jacques Plante held Toronto in the game, allowing Darryl Sittler and Jim Harrison to beat Ed Johnston with slapshots, ending the game in a 2-2 draw.
Ivan Boldirev played his first NHL game during the 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on October 20. In this game, Orr opened the scoring on a solo rush in which he split the defense, Dallas Smith scored with a skillful deflection and Ed Westfall potted the winner on a breakaway. The Bruins had a two game skid near month end which included losing 5-2 to the Montreal Canadiens in a game in which the Canadiens thoroughly outplayed the Bruins and outshot them 42-30. A 2-0 home loss to the California Golden Seals saw fabulous goaltending by the Seals Gilles Meloche as he stopped 34 shots for the shutout while California only managed 19. A frustrated Bobby Orr fought with Walt McKechnie.
However, a strong game by Bobby Orr on October 31, 1971 saw him mark a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota North Stars. Derek Sanderson and Ken Hodge both scored twice in this game while Mike Walton had two assists. Orr finished the month with 4 goals and 17 points while Esposito had 7 goals and 19 points to lead the league. Boston was in second place in the East Division with a 6-3-1 record and trailed the Rangers, who were in first with 17 points.
November started with a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on the 4th. Ted Green returned from injury and Reggie Leach had the first two goal game of his career. However, Green re-injured himself and during the 2-1 win over Detroit on November 6, Don Awrey was also injured. Matt Ravlich, who'd begun his NHL career with Boston in the 1961-62 season was recalled from the minors and joined Bob Stewart on defense. A two game losing skid ensued which started on November 7 at home against Montreal. After falling behind 2-0, Wayne Cashman cut Montreal's lead in half. In the third period with Dallas Smith in the penalty box, Frank Mahovlich restored the Canadiens two goal lead. Making up for the goal, Smith scored on a beautiful end-to-end rush but it would not be enough as Boston fell 3-2.
On November 10, the Bruins lost a tight-checking game against the Chicago Black Hawks by 3-1 with Mike Walton scoring Boston's only goal. The two game losing skid was followed by a twelve game undefeated streak, which carried onto into December. The streak began during the 5-2 win over California on November 11. Phil Esposito and Garnet Bailey both had two goals while Ken Hodge had three assists. On November 14, Bobby Orr had the most points of any game in his NHL career. He scored twice on point shots, once on a deflection and added three assists for a six point night. Phil Esposito had five points in the Bruins 11-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings, their largest win of the season.
Bobby Orr followed this up with a three point game while Ed Johnston earned a shutout in the 5-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on November 18 in which Ted Green returned from injury again. Orr then set up both goals in the Bruins 2-1 win over Chicago on November 20. Then, the Bruins swept a home and home series with the Philadelphia Flyers. Phil Esposito scored the winner, a shorthanded goal, in the 2-1 win on November 24. Orr was a factor in every goal in the 4-2 win on November 25, scoring the game winner and assisting on the other three goals. The month ended with a wild 6-6 tie with St. Louis in which Fred Stanfield had four points and Orr, three. Orr had 11 goals and 39 points while Esposito stood at 18 goals and 40 points to lead the league. The Bruins still trailed the Rangers for first place, by two points.
The point streak continued for the first four games of December. The Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles all by identical scores of 5-3. The 6-2 win over Vancouver on December 11, 1971 saw Phil Esposito score three points for the third game in a row. The thirteen game point streak ended on December 12 with a 4-2 loss to California in which Phil Esposito scored his 300th career goal. The Bruins promptly went on another point streak, this time for eleven games. The new streak started versus New York on December 16. Late in the second period with the Bruins leading 6-0, a melee broke out between both teams first lines. It started with Dallas Smith and Rod Gilbert going at it and ended with Brad Park knocking off Ted Green's helmet and punching him to the ice. Over 110 minutes in penalties were called in the game as the Bruins trounced the Rangers 8-1 led by Esposito and Fred Stanfield's four points each.
Wayne Cashman continued the streak, scoring the game winner by tucking a shot close-in on Pittsburgh's Les Binkley for a 4-3 win on December 18. After tying the Penguins 2-2 the next night and Ken Hodge securing a 4-4 tie against Buffalo Sabres on December 23, the Bruins met Philadelphia on Christmas Day. The Flyers Bobby Clarke struck first but Phil Esposito's line wouldn't be denied as he, Hodge and Wayne Cashman amassed nine points, winning 5-1. On Boxing Day, Boston beat Toronto 3-1 with Phil Esposito scoring the winner on a beautiful passing play with Bucyk and McKenzie on the power play. In Chicago on December 29, Bobby Orr ran roughshod over the Hawks, setting up three goals which resulted in Gary Smith being pulled. Orr then blasted a slapshot by Tony Esposito, leading the Bruins to a 5-1 win. The Bruins finished the year with a 2-2 tie versus Minnesota but still trailed the Rangers by two points for first place. Orr had 16 goals and 54 points while Esposito tallied 30 goals and 64 points. Jean Ratelle of the Rangers was close behind with 61 points.
The Bruins started 1972 with three straight wins beginning with the Rangers on January 2. Derek Sanderson scored the winner on a great play by Mike Walton and Gerry Cheevers was brilliant as the Bruins were out shot 41-18 but prevailed 4-1. Cheevers made a rush with the puck past the blueline and fed John Bucyk a breakaway pass on which he scored to make it 5-1. However, the goal was called back on a delayed penalty after Cheevers ran into Ted Irvine and cuffed him on the head with his glove. On January 5, a Bobby Orr slapshot was the winner against Toronto as Ed Johnston posted a shutout in a 2-0 victory. Orr had another great game with three points in a 5-2 win over Buffalo as the Bruins fired 40 shots on Roger Crozier and limited the Sabres to 20.
The point streak ended with a 5-3 loss to St. Louis on January 8 in which Wayne Cashman roofed a shot which went into the net but bounced out so fast it wasn't counted. After ties with Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, the Bruins started another eleven game point streak with a 4-2 win over Chicago on January 15. The game was tied 2-2 in the third period until Phil Esposito won a puck battle in the slot and fired the winning goal past his brother Tony. Phil scored again after stripping Bobby Hull of the puck at the Hawks blueline and deking out Tony.
The streak continued with a 9-2 win over Detroit on January 16 in which Derek Sanderson, Mike Walton and Ed Westfall all had five points and Sanderson a hat trick. After Gerry Cheevers had a shutout versus St. Louis on January 18, he was pulled after twenty minutes on January 22 against Montreal. Trailing 2-1 after the first period, the Bruins scored four straight goals on the way to an 8-5 victory. The Bruins were represented at the 25th All-Star Game on January 25 by Dallas Smith, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and John McKenzie. McKenzie scored the tying goal and Esposito the winner (assisted by Smith and Orr) in the last minute of the game as the East Division won 3-2. Orr was named the game's MVP. Esposito followed this up with a hat trick during the 4-2 win over Philadelphia on January 27 and two more points against the Flyers on January 29. Bobby Orr powered the Bruins to a 5-2 win over St. Louis on January 30 in which he scored a goal and three assists. This gave the Bruins 75 points to lead the Rangers for first place by five points. Orr had 21 goals and 71 points while Esposito totalled 43 goals and 87 points.
The Bruins third points streak continued for the first three games of February. Ed Johnston and Gerry Cheevers had alternated as the starting goalie for the majority of the season which continued despite Cheevers not having lost since November 10, 1971. Boston met the Rangers in New York on February 2. After Pete Stemkowski had a goal wrongly disallowed for off-side, Cheevers stopped Stemkowski on a two on one and Eddie Giacomin robbed Derek Sanderson on a breakaway. Phil Esposito scored the winner at 7:59 of the third period and Bobby Orr scored an incredible goal, one-timing a Mike Walton shot off the backboards into the top corner as the Bruins won 2-0. Ken Hodge was injured during the 6-1 win against Minnesota on February 3, resulting in Walton being promoted to Esposito's line.
The streak ended with an 8-2 loss to Buffalo on February 6. Not deterred, Boston started a fourth points streak, this one for twelve games, against Vancouver on February 10. Led by Bobby Orr's goal and three assists, the Bruins hammered the Canucks 9-1. The rematch with Buffalo was held on February 12 with Johnston in net, who manned the cage during the 8-2 loss. Boston peppered Sabres Roger Crozier with 55 shots, winning 5-1. Benefiting from playing with Esposito and Wayne Cashman, Mike Walton had ten points in his first four games on the line.
After a 2-2 tie with Montreal on February 13, Bobby Orr's four assists and Mike Walton's two goals powered the Bruins to a 6-3 win over California on February 15. Phil Esposito had his second hat trick of the season during the 4-1 win against Philadelphia on February 17 in which Don Awrey returned to action after a three month absence. Esposito then scored his 50th and 51st goals of the season in leading the Bruins to a 3-1 victory over Chicago on February 20. At Vancouver on February 22, the Bruins were leading 4-3 late in the game. Wayne Maki (who had crushed Ted Green's skull in the 1969-70 pre-season) attacked Gerry Cheevers, which caused a wild melee to ensure.
A trade that mainly involved Reg Leach and Rick Smith to the Seals for Carol Vadnais happened after the Vancouver game and the players made their debuts for their new teams on February 23. The Seals looked to have gotten the better of the trade as they led the Bruins 6-1 halfway through the game. But Bobby Orr took over and the Bruins scored seven straight goals to win 8-6, becoming the first team in NHL history to rally from a five goal deficit. Fred Stanfield had a hat trick (and missed a penalty shot) while Orr had a goal and four assists. The month finished with a 5-4 victory over Los Angeles on February 26 in which Gerry Cheevers rushed the puck out to center ice. The Bruins had widened their lead over the Rangers to ten points. Orr had a goal and an assist for a total of 29 goals and 99 points, while Esposito had a goal and two assists for 55 goals and 110 points on the season. However, the Rangers Jean Ratelle was challenging Esposito for the scoring lead and had 109 points.
March 2 saw the Bruins beat Vancouver 7-3, paced by Phil Esposito's hat trick and two assists. Settling in with his new team, Carol Vadnais set up two goals and Bobby Orr had a fight with Rosaire Paiement. Jean Ratelle was injured and missed the rest of regular season, leaving Esposito unchallenged for the scoring lead. He continued his torrid pace with four assists during the 5-3 win over Detroit on March 4. The point streak ended the next night with a 2-0 loss to Los Angeles. Down 4-2 to Minnesota on March 8, the Bruins rallied with goals by Garnet Bailey and Doug Roberts, playing his first game for Boston. Roberts had earlier hit Cesare Maniago in the mask, knocking him out of the game, to be replaced by Gump Worsley. Roberts one-timed an Orr shot that bounced off the boards and hit a prone Worsley in the head to tie the game 4-4. Worsley was so angry, he threw the puck at the goal judge. John Bucyk scored the winner from an Orr rebound shot while Orr was sliding on his behind.
Despite a goal and two assists from Bobby Orr, the Bruins lost 6-4 to Pittsburgh on March 11. The next night, they tied the Penguins 4-4, largely due to John Bucyk's three assists. A trip to Los Angeles saw Ken Hodge return to the line-up after missing over a month due to injury. He and Carol Vadnais had a goal and two assists as the Bruins romped to an 8-3 victory. Returning home, Phil Esposito had his fourth hat trick of the season while Bobby Orr added a goal and three assists during the 7-3 win over Minnesota on March 19. On March 23, the Rangers visited Boston in a must-win game if they were to catch the first place Bruins. The game was hard fought and with the Bruins up 1-0 in the second period, Phil Esposito was ejected from the game for being the third man in on a Brad Park-John McKenzie fight. Ted Irvine tied it up heading into the third period. Missing Esposito and Wayne Cashman (who didn't dress), the Bruins second line took over. John Bucyk scored the winner before Fred Stanfield set up Carol Vadnais for an insurance goal. Orr scored a late short handed goal on a 200 foot shot into an empty net as the Bruins won 4-1.
The March 25 game versus Chicago featured the league's division leaders. The teams traded goals throughout the match as Phil Esposito scored twice, including his 64th goal which made it 4-4 early in the third period. Soon after, a huge melee broke out, started by a John McKenzie-Keith Magnuson fight. John Bucyk put the Bruins up but late in the game on the power play, Bobby Hull scored his 600th goal, which the Boston fans saluted with a standing ovation as the game ended in a 5-5 tie. The Bruins out-dueled Montreal 5-4 on March 26 and wrapped up their 12th Prince of Wales Trophy with Mike Walton scoring a pair. With little to play for, Boston finished March with two straight losses. Gerry Cheevers lost 4-1 on March 29 to Toronto, his first defeat since November 10, 1971. Cheever's 33 game unbeaten streak is still an NHL record.
Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr were both rested for the last two games of the season, a 6-2 loss to Montreal on April 1 and a 6-4 win over Toronto the next night. Terry O'Reilly played his first NHL game against the Leafs in which he wore jersey #23 and scored. Also, Ted Green scored his last goal with the Bruins against Toronto. Despite missing the games, Esposito still was the NHL scoring champion with 66 goals and 133 points while Orr finished second with 37 goals and 117 points. Orr won his third straight Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP and his fifth straight James Norris Memorial Trophy as best defenseman. Both were named First Team All-Stars. Orr would win one more trophy for his performance in the post season.
|New York Rangers||78||48||17||13||317||192||109|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||78||33||31||14||209||208||80|
|Detroit Red Wings||78||33||35||10||261||262||76|
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.
|Regular Season Results|
|1||L||October 10, 1971||1–4||New York Rangers (1971–72)||0–1–0|
|2||W||October 13, 1971||6–1||@ New York Rangers (1971–72)||1–1–0|
|3||W||October 14, 1971||6–2||Buffalo Sabres (1971–72)||2–1–0|
|4||T||October 17, 1971||2–2||Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72)||2–1–1|
|5||W||October 20, 1971||4–3||Detroit Red Wings (1971–72)||3–1–1|
|6||W||October 22, 1971||5–1||@ California Golden Seals (1971–72)||4–1–1|
|7||W||October 24, 1971||4–3||@ Vancouver Canucks (1971–72)||5–1–1|
|8||L||October 27, 1971||2–5||@ Montreal Canadiens (1971–72)||5–2–1|
|9||L||October 28, 1971||0–2||California Golden Seals (1971–72)||5–3–1|
|10||W||October 31, 1971||5–2||Minnesota North Stars (1971–72)||6–3–1|
|11||W||November 4, 1971||6–1||St. Louis Blues (1971–72)||7–3–1|
|12||W||November 6, 1971||2–1||@ Detroit Red Wings (1971–72)||8–3–1|
|13||L||November 7, 1971||2–3||Montreal Canadiens (1971–72)||8–4–1|
|14||L||November 10, 1971||1–3||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72)||8–5–1|
|15||W||November 11, 1971||5–2||California Golden Seals (1971–72)||9–5–1|
|16||W||November 14, 1971||11–2||Los Angeles Kings (1971–72)||10–5–1|
|17||W||November 18, 1971||5–0||Vancouver Canucks (1971–72)||11–5–1|
|18||W||November 20, 1971||2–1||Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72)||12–5–1|
|19||W||November 21, 1971||6–2||St. Louis Blues (1971–72)||13–5–1|
|20||W||November 24, 1971||2–1||@ Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72)||14–5–1|
|21||W||November 25, 1971||4–2||Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72)||15–5–1|
|22||T||November 27, 1971||6–6||@ St. Louis Blues (1971–72)||15–5–2|
|23||W||December 4, 1971||5–3||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72)||16–5–2|
|24||W||December 5, 1971||5–3||Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72)||17–5–2|
|25||W||December 8, 1971||5–3||@ Los Angeles Kings (1971–72)||18–5–2|
|26||W||December 11, 1971||6–2||@ Vancouver Canucks (1971–72)||19–5–2|
|27||L||December 12, 1971||2–4||@ California Golden Seals (1971–72)||19–6–2|
|28||W||December 16, 1971||8–1||New York Rangers (1971–72)||20–6–2|
|29||W||December 18, 1971||4–3||@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72)||21–6–2|
|30||T||December 19, 1971||2–2||Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72)||21–6–3|
|31||T||December 23, 1971||4–4||@ Buffalo Sabres (1971–72)||21–6–4|
|32||W||December 25, 1971||5–1||Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72)||22–6–4|
|33||W||December 26, 1971||3–1||Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72)||23–6–4|
|34||W||December 29, 1971||5–1||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72)||24–6–4|
|35||T||December 30, 1971||2–2||@ Minnesota North Stars (1971–72)||24–6–5|
|36||W||January 2, 1972||4–1||@ New York Rangers (1971–72)||25–6–5|
|37||W||January 5, 1972||2–0||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72)||26–6–5|
|38||W||January 6, 1972||5–2||@ Buffalo Sabres (1971–72)||27–6–5|
|39||L||January 8, 1972||3–5||@ St. Louis Blues (1971–72)||27–7–5|
|40||T||January 12, 1972||2–2||@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72)||27–7–6|
|41||T||January 13, 1972||1–1||Los Angeles Kings (1971–72)||27–7–7|
|42||W||January 15, 1972||4–2||Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72)||28–7–7|
|43||W||January 16, 1972||9–2||Detroit Red Wings (1971–72)||29–7–7|
|44||W||January 18, 1972||2–0||@ St. Louis Blues (1971–72)||30–7–7|
|45||W||January 22, 1972||8–5||@ Montreal Canadiens (1971–72)||31–7–7|
|46||T||January 23, 1972||3–3||Buffalo Sabres (1971–72)||31–7–8|
|47||W||January 27, 1972||4–2||Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72)||32–7–8|
|48||W||January 29, 1972||4–2||@ Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72)||33–7–8|
|49||W||January 30, 1972||5–2||St. Louis Blues (1971–72)||34–7–8|
|50||W||February 2, 1972||2–0||@ New York Rangers (1971–72)||35–7–8|
|51||W||February 3, 1972||6–1||Minnesota North Stars (1971–72)||36–7–8|
|52||W||February 5, 1972||3–2||Detroit Red Wings (1971–72)||37–7–8|
|53||L||February 6, 1972||2–8||@ Buffalo Sabres (1971–72)||37–8–8|
|54||W||February 10, 1972||9–1||Vancouver Canucks (1971–72)||38–8–8|
|55||W||February 12, 1972||5–1||Buffalo Sabres (1971–72)||39–8–8|
|56||T||February 13, 1972||2–2||Montreal Canadiens (1971–72)||39–8–9|
|57||W||February 15, 1972||6–3||California Golden Seals (1971–72)||40–8–9|
|58||W||February 17, 1972||4–1||@ Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72)||41–8–9|
|59||W||February 19, 1972||6–4||@ Minnesota North Stars (1971–72)||42–8–9|
|60||W||February 20, 1972||3–1||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72)||43–8–9|
|61||W||February 22, 1972||4–3||@ Vancouver Canucks (1971–72)||44–8–9|
|62||W||February 23, 1972||8–6||@ California Golden Seals (1971–72)||45–8–9|
|63||W||February 26, 1972||5–4||@ Los Angeles Kings (1971–72)||46–8–9|
|64||W||March 2, 1972||7–3||Vancouver Canucks (1971–72)||47–8–9|
|65||W||March 4, 1972||5–4||@ Detroit Red Wings (1971–72)||48–8–9|
|66||L||March 5, 1972||0–2||Los Angeles Kings (1971–72)||48–9–9|
|67||W||March 8, 1972||5–4||@ Minnesota North Stars (1971–72)||49–9–9|
|68||L||March 11, 1972||4–6||@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72)||49–10–9|
|69||T||March 12, 1972||4–4||Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72)||49–10–10|
|70||W||March 16, 1972||8–3||@ Los Angeles Kings (1971–72)||50–10–10|
|71||W||March 19, 1972||7–3||Minnesota North Stars (1971–72)||51–10–10|
|72||W||March 23, 1972||4–1||New York Rangers (1971–72)||52–10–10|
|73||T||March 25, 1972||5–5||Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72)||52–10–11|
|74||W||March 26, 1972||5–4||Montreal Canadiens (1971–72)||53–10–11|
|75||L||March 28, 1972||3–6||@ Detroit Red Wings (1971–72)||53–11–11|
|76||L||March 29, 1972||1–4||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72)||53–12–11|
|77||L||April 1, 1972||2–6||@ Montreal Canadiens (1971–72)||53–13–11|
|78||W||April 2, 1972||6–4||Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72)||54–13–11|
Boston Bruins 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 1
The Bruins and Leafs had last met in the 1969 Quarter-finals where the Bruins swept the series in four games. This series was much closer, with three games being decided by one goal. However, the Bruins prevailed in five games led by Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr who both had nine points.
Game 1 at the Boston Garden saw a scoreless first period. Phil Esposito opened the scoring at 17:24 of the second period, roofing a pass from Wayne Cashman over the shoulder of Jacques Plante. A little over two minutes later, Esposito scored his second off a rebound from a Bobby Orr wrap around. Completing a solo rush with a backhand shot, Don Marcotte made it 3-0 Boston at 3:47 of the third period. A beautiful Esposito pass to John McKenzie speeding up the right wing saw him flip it over Plante at 15:27. Right off the center ice faceoff, Fred Stanfield took a John Bucyk pass and fired a shot over Plante's shoulder eleven seconds after McKenzie's goal. Gerry Cheevers was stellar, earning a shutout, as the Bruins won 5-0.
Game 2 at Boston saw Bernie Parent start in goal for the Leafs. After Fred Stanfield and Phil Esposito put the Bruins up 2-0 in the first period, the Leafs countered with early second period goals by Dave Keon and Jim McKenny at 3:47. Less than a minute later, John Bucyk put the Bruins up 3-2, finishing off a great passing play from Stanfield and John McKenzie. At 9:42 of the third period, Dave Keon stripped Phil Esposito of the puck at the Leafs blueline and sent Guy Trottier in on a partial breakaway. Trottier scored with a low shot to Cheever's glove side to tie the game 3-3. Parent held the fort against many Boston chances, including poke checking the puck away from Bobby Orr as he broke in with ten seconds left in regulation. At 2:47 of overtime, Jim Harrison blasted a shot past Cheevers from just inside the Bruins blueline as Toronto took the game 4-3 and tied the series at one game each.
Game 3 at Maple Leaf Gardens saw Eddie Johnston replace Cheevers in net for Boston while Parent started again for Toronto. A real goaltender's battle ensued as the first period was scoreless, despite six power plays. Penalties caught up to the Leafs in the second period as with Darryl Sittler in the box, Mike Walton blasted a point shot past Parent at 18:38. Early in the third period, Guy Trottier took a tripping penalty. Parent tried to clear a bouncing puck but hit Ken Hodge. Wayne Cashman retrieved it and passed to Orr in the slot. His shot beat Parent low to the stick side to give the Bruins an insurance goal. Johnston stopped all 30 Leafs shots, earning a shutout as the Bruins prevailed 2-0.
Game 4 at Toronto saw Ed Johnston and Bernie Parent start in goal again. Persistence by Carol Vadnais in the Leafs zone resulting in the opening goal by John Bucyk at 16:36 of the first period. However, a little over a minute later, Dave Keon's wicked slapshot from the point tied the game. In the second period, the Leafs took advantage of special teams, first with Ron Ellis tapping in a feed from Paul Henderson on the power play. While killing a penalty, Jim McKenney stripped Wayne Cashman of the puck at the Leafs blueline and scored on a breakaway to make it 3-1 Toronto heading into the third period. Ken Hodge appeared to start a comeback when he scored at 1:15 until Henderson scored off an Ellis rebound at 4:50. After assisting on Hodge's goal, Orr then took over. While short handed, he poked the puck off Dave Keon's stick to Derek Sanderson who passed it to Ed Westfall speeding up the right wing. His shot flew by Parent's stick to cut the Leafs lead to 4-3. Less than two minutes later, Orr rushed into Toronto's zone and eventually found Phil Esposito in the slot. His one-timer went over Parent's shoulder to tie the game 4-4. The Bruins completed the comeback at 16:11 as after winning a faceoff in the Leafs zone, Esposito took advantage of a Mike Pelyk miscue and saw his pass go into off Hodge's skate for the 5-4 game winner.
Game 5 at Boston saw Cheevers in goal for Boston while Parent remained in net for Toronto. Jim McKenney opened the scoring with his third of the series at 11:12 of the first period on the power play. On their own power play at 15:42, Fred Stanfield fired a low point shot past Parent, who was playing with a broken stick. At 5:18 of the second period, John McKenzie one-timed a beautiful John Bucyk centering pass to make it 2-1 Bruins. Parent held the Leafs in the game in the third period until Norm Ullman took advantage of Phil Esposito losing the puck by the Bruins net and roofed a shot at 6:09 to tie the game 2-2. Determined to make up for his mistake, less than two minutes later, Esposito took a Wayne Cashman pass in front of the Leafs net, slid a pass to Ken Hodge who whacked it past Parent's stick to make it 3-2 as Boston took the series in five games.
|1||April 5||Toronto Maple Leafs||0-5||Boston Bruins||0-1|
|2||April 6||Toronto Maple Leafs||4-3 (OT)||Boston Bruins||1-1|
|3||April 8||Boston Bruins||2-0||Toronto Maple Leafs||2-1|
|4||April 9||Boston Bruins||5-4||Toronto Maple Leafs||3-1|
|5||April 11||Toronto Maple Leafs||2-3||Boston Bruins||1-4|
Boston Bruins 4, St. Louis Blues 0
The Bruins and Blues last met in the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals where the Bruins swept the series in four games, highlighted by Bobby Orr's overtime winner in Game 4. Despite missing Derek Sanderson for the entire series, the Bruins swept the Blues again, winning three of the games easily. John Bucyk scored 4 goals and 13 points in the series.
Game 1 at the Boston Garden saw Eddie Johnston start in net for the Bruins and Jacques Caron for the Blues. Garry Peters dressed in his only playoff game of the year. Garry Unger opened the scoring on the power play at 3:18 of the first period, but that's all the scoring St. Louis mustered. While the Blues effectively checked the Phil Esposito line, the second line of Fred Stanfield, John Bucyk and John McKenzie ran rampant. Stanfield tied the game a little over a minute after Unger's goal before Mike Walton put the Bruins up for good. Bucyk added a goal at 17:24 to make it 3-1 Boston. At 5:39 of the second period, Curt Bennett and Carol Vadnais fought which resulted in a melee. Don Awrey was given a game misconduct for being the third man in. Stanfield scored at 10:48 on the power play and then completed the Hat trick at 19:32. Caron was pulled for Ernie Wakely to start the third period. Esposito scored at 14:44 on the power play to compete the Bruins 6-1 win.
Game 2 at Boston saw Gerry Cheevers man the pipes for Boston while Caron started for St. Louis. As in Game 1, the Blues had no answer for the Bruins offensive depth. Bucyk opened the scoring at 7:17 of the first period on the power play before Esposito added a goal a minute later. The Bruins third line of Mike Walton, Garnet Bailey and Ed Westfall combined for a goal at 9:54. In the second period, Bailey scored at 6:33, resulting in Caron being pulled for Ernie Wakely. John McKenzie scored on the power play shortly after to make it 5-0 Bruins. Bucyk scored his second of the game at 3:47 of the third period on the power play. The Blues scored two quick goals by Mike Murphy and Phil Roberto to cut the lead to 6-2. Any hope of a comeback was quickly dashed as Boston scored four goals in the last ten minutes of the game. Walton, Don Marcotte, Bucyk and Westfall were the markers as the Bruins trounced the Blues 10-2. Bucyk had a hat trick and four points while Bailey also had four points. Incredibly, St. Louis out shot Boston 33-31.
Game 3 at the St. Louis Arena saw Ed Johnston back in net for Boston and the Blues go with third-string goalie Peter McDuffe. Chris Hayes played the only NHL game of his career. Mike Murphy opened the scoring for the Blues at 2:05 of the first period, slipping a shot between Johnston's pads on the power play. The Blues were on another power play six minutes later when Ed Westfall picked off a Barclay Plager pass and went in on a breakaway. He deked McDuffe and roofed his shot to make it 1-1. On a Bruins power play, John McKenzie deflected a Bobby Orr shot in at 10:36. With seconds left in the period, Ken Hodge's pass from the corner to Phil Esposito saw him lift it over McDuffe to make it 3-1 Bruins. At 2:58 of the second period, Mike Walton scored before Ken Hodge deked Barclay Plager at the St. Louis blueline and blasted a slapshot between McDuffe's pads. At 11:12 on the power play, John McKenzie corralled a John Bucyk rebound and shot it over McDuffe's shoulder for a 6-1 Bruins lead. In the third period, Walton intercepted an errant Gary Sabourin pass and put a low shot in at 11:09. Sabourin scored a consolation goal with less than two minutes left as Boston won 7-2 and took a three games to none stranglehold on the series.
Game 4 at St. Louis saw the Bruins continue to rotate their goalies with Gerry Cheevers starting while Jacques Caron was back in net for the Blues. This was the closest game of the series, with St. Louis out shooting Boston 36-27, but penalties would be the Blues undoing. Only 1:29 into the game, Phil Esposito fired a Wayne Cashman rebound past Caron to make it 1-0. At 9:27 on the power play, Esposito kept the puck in the Blues zone, passed to Fred Stanfield who found John Bucyk alone in front of the net. His shot to Caron's glove side made it 2-0 Bruins. Terry Crisp cut the lead to 2-1 late in the period. With Garry Unger in the box, Bucyk scored his second power play goal of the game at 4:44 of the second period. At 17:53 on the power play, Esposito took a John McKenzie pass in the right slot and fired a shot past Caron's stick to make it 4-1. In the third period, Cheevers continued to hold the Blues at bay until 9:50 when André Dupont fired a slapshot that eluded him. At 15:25, Chris Evans beat Cheevers with a point shot to make it 4-3. That was as close as St. Louis came as Wayne Cashman scored his first goal of the playoffs into an empty net for a 5-3 Bruins win and a series sweep.
|1||April 18||St. Louis Blues||1-6||Boston Bruins||0-1|
|2||April 20||St. Louis Blues||2-10||Boston Bruins||0-2|
|3||April 23||Boston Bruins||7-2||St. Louis Blues||3-0|
|4||April 25||Boston Bruins||5-3||St. Louis Blues||4-0|
Boston Bruins 4, New York Rangers 2
The Bruins and Rangers last met in the 1970 Quarter-finals where the Bruins won the hard fought series in six games. The 1972 Stanley Cup Finals would also be won by Boston in six games. Boston's goaltenders Gerry Cheevers and Eddie Johnston both played three games as did New York's Eddie Giacomin and Gilles Villemure. Jean Ratelle rushed his return from injury to play in the Finals but came back too early. A dominant player during the regular season, who despite missing the last month still finished third in scoring, he recorded just one assist in the series. The regular season's top goal scorer, Phil Esposito, didn't score in the Finals but contributed nine assists while Ken Hodge had 5 goals and 8 points. Bobby Orr scored the Cup winning goal, but not in as dramatic a fashion as in 1970. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy and was tied with Esposito for most points in the playoffs with 24.
Game 1 at the Boston Garden saw Gerry Cheevers start in net for the Bruins and Eddie Giacomin for the Rangers. Dale Rolfe opened the scoring at 3:52 of the first period with a slapshot that beat Cheevers low to the glove side. Less than two minutes later, John McKenzie rushed into the Rangers zone and criss-crossed with Fred Stanfield who scored low to Giacomin's stick side. The Bruins then scored four straight goals. Ken Hodge put in a rebound from a Don Awrey shot at 15:48 to make it 2-1. With Awrey off for elbowing, Ed Westfall picked off a Vic Hadfield pass and sent Derek Sanderson in. Sanderson deked Bobby Rousseau and roofed a shorthanded goal over Giacomin's shoulder at 17:29. Still on the penalty kill, Ken Hodge blasted a slapshot home to make it 4-1 Boston. At 10:46 of the second period, Hodge completed a Hat trick by one-timing a Phil Esposito shot that bounced off the boards for a 5-1 lead. Rod Gilbert made it 5-2 on the power play, firing in a shot from a Hadfield rebound. At 1:56 of the third period, on the power play, Hadfield's low shot beat Cheevers to the glove side. Walt Tkaczuk scored off a face-off at 7:48 to make it 5-4. At 9:17, Awrey lost control of the puck circling the Bruins net and Bruce MacGregor completed the Rangers comeback. However, at 17:44, Garnet Bailey beat Brad Park to the outside and backhanded the winning goal over Giacomin's shoulder for a 6-5 Boston win.
Game 2 at Boston saw Ed Johnston and Gilles Villemure start in net and the game was a goaltenders duel. John Bucyk opened the scoring at 16:15 of the first period on the power play after Bobby Orr spun away from Bruce MacGregor and fed Bucyk a perfect pass to the left of Villemure. In the second period, Vic Hadfield stripped Ed Westfall of the puck at the Bruins blueline and sent Jim Neilson and Rod Gilbert in on a 2 on 1. Gilbert slipped Neilson's pass between Johnston's pads to tie the score at 7:23. In the third period at nearly the halfway mark, MacGregor was sent off for tripping. Phil Esposito won a face-off in the Rangers zone back to Mike Walton who raced down the left wing and sent a perfect pass to Ken Hodge who tipped in the game winner. The Rangers couldn't convert on a power play of their own with less than five minutes left and the game ended a 2-1 Bruins victory.
Game 3 at Madison Square Garden saw the teams switch back to the Game 1 starters, Cheevers and Giacomin. Special teams would see the Rangers to their first victory in the series. After Dallas Smith took a penalty 12 seconds into the game, Brad Park scored with the man advantage. New York then killed off three consecutive penalties before scoring two more power play goals, by Rod Gilbert and Park again. Mike Walton countered at 14:14 to make it 3-1 Rangers going into the second period. Bobby Orr scored at 1:10 to cut the Rangers lead to 3-2 but goals by Rod Gilbert and Pete Stemkowski put the game out of reach. A scoreless third period saw the Rangers cruise to a 5-2 win and cut the Bruins series lead to two games to one.
Game 4 at New York had Johnston back in net for the Bruins while Giacomin remained in for the Rangers. It was a fight-filled match with eight in the first period alone. Orr dominated this game and opened the scoring at 5:26 of the first period as he took a Mike Walton pass while in full flight, split the Rangers defense and fired a shot over Giacomin's shoulder for a 1-0 Bruins lead. Less than three minutes later on the power play, John McKenzie fished the puck out of a goal mouth scramble and sent it back to Orr who one-timed a low slapshot in to make it 2-0 Boston. At 16:55, a melee broke out that included Orr and Brad Park exchanging blows. In the second period, with Mike Walton in the penalty box, Don Marcotte executed a perfect give-and-go with Orr which Marcotte finished off with a backhand over Giacomin for a 3-0 score. Ted Irvine cut the lead to 3-1 at 18:38, beating Johnston to the stick side on a breakaway. The teams calmed down in the third period and defensive play reigned. With less than two minutes left, Rod Seiling scored on the power play but the Rangers couldn't mark another and the Bruins took a three games to one hold on the series with a 3-2 win.
Game 5 at Boston saw Johnston start his second straight game of the Finals while Villemure was back in the nets for the Rangers. Wayne Cashman scored his first of the series as he found the puck in a goalmouth scramble and backhanded it between Villemure's legs at 3:55. Dale Rolfe tied it up at 13:45 off a Walt Tkaczuk rebound. Rolfe took an interference penalty less than a minute later. Phil Esposito dug the puck out of the corner and sent a no-look backhand pass to Fred Stanfield in the slot. Villemure stopped Stanfield's shot but Ken Hodge put in the rebound to make it 2-1 Boston on the power play. Despite five power plays in the second period, including a lengthy 5 on 3 for Boston, neither team scored, though Brad Park hit the crossbar on a breakaway. At 2:56 of the third period, Bobby Rousseau tied the game up with a low slapshot that went between Johnston's pads. At 12:45, Rousseau took a short pass from Ted Irvine and fired a high shot over Johnston's glove. The Bruins pressed furiously but couldn't even the score. Villemure was excellent, stopping 17 shots in the third period. The Bruins out shot the Rangers 38-26 but New York prevailed 3-2.
Game 6 at New York had Cheevers back in goal for Boston, while the Rangers stuck with Villemure. The first period was penalty-filled and at 10:25 on the power play, Bobby Orr took a Ken Hodge pass at the point. He spun away from the check of Bruce MacGregor and fired a low shot that beat Villemure to the stick side. Ken Hodge and Vic Hadfield fought minutes later and then an altercation between Wayne Cashman and Gary Doak resulted in Orr receiving a misconduct penalty and missing the rest of the period. The second period was scoreless but continued to be rough as Derek Sanderson and Rod Gilbert fought before Cashman and Walt Tkaczuk duked it out. With so much at stake, the teams played a clean third period and the Rangers took only one penalty, but it proved fatal. At 5:10, Wayne Cashman tipped in an Orr point shot on the power play to make it 2-0 Bruins. The Rangers pressed and out shot the Bruins 33-27 in the game but Cheevers was unbeatable. Cashman sealed the win on a two on one with Esposito, as his shot trickled between Villemure's pads into the net. Cheevers earned the shutout in Boston's 3-0 victory and Bobby Orr became the first player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy twice as playoff MVP.
|1||April 30||New York Rangers||5-6||Boston Bruins||0-1|
|2||May 2||New York Rangers||1-2||Boston Bruins||0-2|
|3||May 4||Boston Bruins||2-5||New York Rangers||2-1|
|4||May 7||Boston Bruins||3-2||New York Rangers||3-1|
|5||May 9||New York Rangers||3-2||Boston Bruins||2-3|
|6||May 11||Boston Bruins||3-0||New York Rangers||4-2|
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
- Prince of Wales Trophy: Boston Bruins (12th win)
- Art Ross Trophy: Phil Esposito (3rd win)
- James Norris Memorial Trophy: Bobby Orr (5th win)
- Hart Memorial Trophy: Bobby Orr (3rd win)
- Conn Smythe Trophy: Bobby Orr (2nd win, first player to win the trophy twice)
- NHL Goal Scoring Leader: Phil Esposito (3rd win)
- Phil Esposito, Center, NHL First Team All-Star
- Bobby Orr, Defence, NHL First Team All-Star
- Longest undefeated streak by a goaltender (33 games): Gerry Cheevers
- Most assists (19) and points (24) by a defenseman in a post season: Bobby Orr
- First team to rally from a five goal deficit during the 8-6 win over the California Golden Seals on February 23, 1972.
- Sell Bob Leiter to the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 1, 1971.
- Lose Wayne Carleton and Stan Gilbertson to the California Golden Seals, Frank Spring to the Philadelphia Flyers, claim Gary Peter from Philadelphia in the intra-league draft on June 8, 1971.
- Purchase Doug Roberts from California on September 4, 1971.
- Trade Ivan Boldirev to California for Chris Oddleifson and Rich Leduc on November 19, 1971.
- Trade Reggie Leach, Rick Smith and Bob Stewart to California for Carol Vadnais and Don O'Donoghue on February 23, 1972.
- Purchase Tom Williams from California on March 5, 1972.
- See also: 1971 NHL Amateur Draft
|Round||#||Player||Nationality||College/Junior/Club Team (League)|
|1||6||Ron Jones||Canada||Edmonton Oil Kings (WCHL)|
|1||14||Terry O'Reilly||Canada||Oshawa Generals (OHA)|
|2||28||Curt Ridley||Canada||Portage Terriers (MJHL)|
|3||42||Dave Bonter||Canada||Estevan Bruins (WCHL)|
|4||56||Dave Hynes||Canada||Harvard Crimson (ECAC)|
|5||70||Bert Scott||Canada||Edmonton Oil Kings (WCHL)|
|6||84||Bob McMahon||Canada||St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)|
- Bobby Orr had a 6 point game during the 11-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on November 14, 1971.
- For the second time, Phil Esposito scored his 50th goal of the season on his birthday, February 20.
- Bruins who recorded a Hat trick this season include:
- Bobby Orr during the 11-2 win over Los Angeles on November 14, 1971.
- Derek Sanderson during the 9-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on January 16, 1972.
- Phil Esposito during the 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on January 27, 1972.
- Phil Esposito during the 4-1 win over Philadelphia on February 17, 1972.
- Fred Stanfield during the 8-6 win over the California Golden Seals on February 23, 1972.
- Phil Esposito during the 7-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on March 2, 1972.
- Phil Esposito during the 7-3 win over the Minnesota North Stars on March 19, 1972.
- Fred Stanfield during the 6-1 win over the St. Louis Blues, Game 1 of the Semi-finals, April 18, 1972.
- John Bucyk during the 10-2 win over St. Louis, Game 2 of the Semi-finals, April 20, 1972.
- Ken Hodge during the 6-5 win over the New York Rangers, Game 1 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals, April 30, 1972.
Brief highlights of the 1972 Rangers-Canadiens Quarter-finals, Rangers-Black Hawks Semi-finals, Bruins-Leafs Quarter-finals and Bruins-Blues Semi-finals before highlights of all six games of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals.
- 1971-72 Boston Bruins Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-09.
|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|
|1971–72 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||1971 NHL Amateur Draft • All-Star Game • 1972 Stanley Cup Final|