|1972–73 Boston Bruins · NHL|
|Goals for||330 (1st)|
|Goals against||235 (6th)|
|General Manager||Harry Sinden|
|Alternate captains||Johnny Bucyk |
|Goals||Phil Esposito (55)|
|Assists||Phil Esposito (75)|
|Points||Phil Esposito (130)|
|Penalties in minutes||Carol Vadnais (127)|
|Wins||Ed Johnston (24)|
|Goals against average||Jacques Plante (2.00)|
|← Seasons →|
The 1972–73 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 49th season in the NHL. The Bruins finished 2nd in the East Division with 107 points and lost in the Quarter-finals to the New York Rangers 4 games to 1.
- 1 Off-season
- 2 Pre-season
- 3 Regular Season
- 4 Playoffs
- 5 Player Stats
- 6 Awards and Records
- 7 Transactions
- 8 Draft Picks
- 9 Trivia
- 10 Gallery
- 11 Video
- 12 See Also
- 13 References
The 1972 NHL Expansion Draft was held on June 6, 1972 to fill the rosters of the league's two newest teams, the New York Islanders and the Atlanta Flames. Each team was allowed to protect two goalies and fifteen skaters.
The first round involved selecting goalies, two for each of the expansion teams. An established team could only lose one goalie and if one was picked, they could protect another skater. Bruins prospect Dan Bouchard was selected by the Flames with the third goalie pick, resulting in Boston protecting John McKenzie. Skaters were selected next with the Bruins losing Ed Westfall to the Islanders as the fifth skater selected. Boston protected Nick Beverley and lost only one other player, Garry Peters was picked by the Islanders with the seventh skater pick. Ed Westfall had played with the Bruins since the 1961-62 season and had been part of both the 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cup winning teams. He'd play seven seasons for the Islanders, serve as their captain and retire just before New York's four Stanley Cup run from 1980-83.
World Hockey Association
The Bruins were one of the hardest hit teams as the World Hockey Association (WHA) signed players away from the NHL. Defenseman Ted Green and forwards Derek Sanderson and John McKenzie were all lost. However, the biggest loss was goalie Gerry Cheevers, who signed a five year deal with the Cleveland Crusaders for $200,000 per season while the Bruins offered $80,000. His departure was arguably the most difficult on the team as the Bruins struggled to find a suitable partner for Eddie Johnston and saw an increase in goals against from the previous season. Cheevers would return to the Bruins for the 1975-76 season.
Orr and Sinden
Bobby Orr underwent surgery on his left knee for the third time in June 1972. He wasn't sufficiently recovered to play in the Summit Series in September 1972 though he did practice and travel with the team.
Within days of coaching Team Canada to victory in the 1972 Summit Series, Harry Sinden signed a five year contract as the Bruins new general manager. Milt Schmidt, the Bruins GM since the 1967-68 season, was made executive director. Sinden held the role for the next 28 years.
Two Bruins made the roster of Team Canada for the 1972 Summit Series. Eddie Johnston was the third goalie and did not play in the eight games versus the Soviet National Team but did play in games versus Sweden and the Czechoslovak National Team. Bobby Orr trained and travelled with the team but did not play while recovering from knee surgery. Phil Esposito was the team's number one center and as the series progressed, became Team Canada's emotional leader. He finished as the series scoring leader and while overshadowed by the timely heroics of Paul Henderson, Esposito had 2 goals and 2 assists in Canada's 6-5 victory in the series finale in Game 8.
Although the Bruins had lost a number of quality players to the 1972 expansion draft and the WHA, they did have enough talented skaters in their farm system to replace them. Gregg Sheppard, who had led the Oklahoma City Blazers in scoring in 1971-72, took Derek Sanderson's place as the third line center. Sheppard had a fantastic rookie season, finishing with 50 points, the most ever by a Bruins freshman to that point. Sheppard would play six seasons for Boston, scoring 30 goals or more in three of them. Sheppard's linemates were Don Marcotte and fellow rookie Terry O'Reilly. O'Reilly would play thirteen seasons for the Bruins, become their captain, coach and have his jersey #24 retired. Mike Walton, who had played on several lines the previous season, replaced John McKenzie on the second line with Fred Stanfield and John Bucyk. The first line of Phil Esposito, Wayne Cashman and Ken Hodge remained intact. Garnet Bailey, Doug Roberts and rookie Fred O'Donnell comprised the fourth line.
The first defense pairing of Bobby Orr and Dallas Smith was unchanged while Carol Vadnais was matched with Don Awrey. Ted Green was replaced with rookie Nick Beverley who had played five years in the minors. Finding a replacement to fill the loss of Gerry Cheevers with a goalie of equal quality was not possible. Boston's talent pipeline had been denuded of goaltenders by the expansion drafts of 1967 and 1972 in which Bernie Parent, Doug Favell and Dan Bouchard had been picked. Eddie Johnston took over the duties as the number one goalie but had his worst season since 1966-67. This would be his last season of the eleven he played for Boston. Johnston was supplemented by 36 year old career minor-leaguer Ross Brooks and John Adams. Both played their first NHL games spelling off Johnston.
The Bruins had a bumpy start to the season, mainly attributed to Bobby Orr not playing as he continued to recover from off-season knee surgery. Matt Ravlich took Orr's place in the line-up. After a 4-2 home opening loss to the Los Angeles Kings on October 8, 1972, a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings followed on October 11. The Bruins first ever game against the New York Islanders on October 14 provided the first win of the season, 7-4, in which Fred Stanfield had three points and Fred O'Donnell scored his first career NHL goal. Phil Esposito and Carol Vadnais both had four point nights in the 8-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 15. Bobby Orr returned to the line-up in the re-match against Pittsburgh on October 21 and had an assist in a 4-2 win.
Orr had a goal the next night in a 5-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Having played seven consecutive games, Ross Brooks went in for Ed Johnston during the 2-2 tie with the Buffalo Sabres on October 25. Having come back from injury too soon, Orr was pulled from the line-up and Ron Jones took his place. During the 6-3 loss to the Chicago Black Hawks on October 26, Hawks goalie Gary Smith took exception to Garnet "Ace" Bailey being in his crease. Smith started a fight that ended when Bailey punched Smith in the mask and wrestled him to the ice. Gregg Sheppard played his first game during the 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 28 and then had a Hat trick the next night as the Bruins walloped the Islanders 9-1. The month was a disappointment with a 5-5-1 record but Phil Esposito had 6 goals and 14 points.
The Bruins began to gel in November despite playing without Bobby Orr. The addition of Gregg Sheppard gave Boston one of the league's best third lines and the offense flourished. Sheppard had three points during a 6-6 tie with the California Golden Seals on November 3, followed by Phil Esposito and Ken Hodge both having a five point game during the 8-3 win over Detroit on November 9. John Bucyk had his 1000th career point in this game. Orr returned to the line-up for good on November 18 against the Islanders and had a goal and an assist. Goalie John Adams played his first NHL game while Esposito had four points in the 7-3 win. The Bruins caught fire and lost only one game during the rest of 1972.
Gregg Sheppard had an assist and two goals, including the winner, during the 6-5 victory over the Maple Leafs on November 19. Bobby Orr had two goals during the 4-2 over California on November 23 and another goal during the Bruins first ever game against the Atlanta Flames the next night. John Adams recorded his first career shutout while Orr also added two assists and Sheppard notched his tenth goal as the Bruins won 4-0. Adams earned another start and tied the Montreal Canadiens 3-3 on November 29. Orr powered the Bruins to a 5-4 win over Buffalo on November 30 with two slapshot goals from the point and two assists. Esposito finished the month with 15 goals and 37 points while the Bruins improved their record to 13-7-3.
Boston had a fantastic December in which Ed Johnston and John Adams split the goaltending duties. The Bruins won the first four games which included a shutout by Johnston during the 5-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on December 7 and Ken Hodge scoring a hat trick during the 8-4 win over California on December 10. Boston's only loss of the month was to Buffalo on December 13 by 7-3. The game was extremely chippy with the Sabres Jim Schoenfeld getting into three separate fights. Schoenfeld's first battle was due to checking Wayne Cashman against the Zamboni doors, which promptly collapsed, sending both players into the walkway. Everyone on the ice joined in and a melee ensued. In the third period, Schoenfeld fought Bobby Orr and with less than two minutes left in the game, Carol Vadnais. In total, 154 penalty minutes were called with Schoenfeld garnering 33.
The Bruins won the remaining seven games in December beginning with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers. The Bruins peppered Rangers goalie Gilles Villemure with 55 shots, 15 by Phil Esposito alone. Ken Hodge and Gregg Sheppard both had a pair of goals in the 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on December 17. Hodge continued piling up the points with four during the 8-1 thumping of Detroit on December 21 while Phil Esposito had three. After winning a home and home series against Atlanta, both by 3-1 scores, Ed Johnston picked up his second shutout of the month on December 29 in a 2-0 win over the Minnesota North Stars. An Orr rush capped with a give-and-go with Esposito provided the winner. Orr had 10 goals and 41 points in only 21 games while Esposito led the league in scoring with 21 goals and 55 points. The Bruins ended 1972 with a 25-8-3 record.
On New Year's Day 1973, Bobby Orr led Boston with six assists in demolishing Vancouver 8-2. Phil Esposito had a hat trick while Ken Hodge tallied four points. In St. Louis on January 4, a bizarre accident occurred at the hotel the Bruins were staying at as Mike Walton tripped and fell through a glass door. Bleeding badly, he was rushed to the hospital where he required over 200 stitches and a blood transfusion. Walton survived and had recorded 21 goals and 37 points before the mishap. The Bruins were shaken and lost that evening 4-2 to the Blues and 5-4 in Chicago on January 7. Rich Leduc was recalled to replace Walton and had a goal and an assist in his second NHL game, a 4-1 win over Toronto on January 13.
On January 14, Phil Esposito was unstoppable, scoring four goals and an assist as the Bruins blanked the Sabres 6-0. Nick Beverley had his first NHL goal in this game while John Bucyk also scored. On January 18, 1973 against the Islanders, John Adams had a terrible first period and was pulled with the Bruins trailing 5-1. In the second period, Bucyk completed a hat trick and Wayne Cashman added a goal but the Bruins were still behind 7-4 at the end of the second period. At 6:50 of the third period, Cashman scored, his fourth point of the game, and two minutes later, Terry O'Reilly cut the Islanders lead to one goal. Poor defensive play resulting in the Islanders winning 9-7 despite Bucyk scoring again for his fourth goal of the game.
Losing to the lowly Islanders dispirited the Bruins as they lost four of their next six games. Wayne Cashman had a hat trick in the 5-2 win over California on January 21 but three straight losses, all by 4-2 scores, to the Rangers, Red Wings and Black Hawks followed. John Adams played his last game for the Bruins in the loss against Detroit and was regulated to the minors. During the 4-2 loss to Chicago on January 27, Phil Esposito scored on brother Tony, who threw his glove to the ice in frustration. January ended on a high note with a 6-5 win over Los Angeles in which Ross Brooks took over the backup goalie role. Wayne Cashman had his second hat trick of the month while Bobby Orr notched three points. Orr had 12 goals and 54 points while Phil Esposito still led the league with 30 goals and 74 points. With a 30-15-7 record, the Bruins were in third place in the Eastern Division, trailing the Canadiens and the Rangers.
Mike Walton returned to the line-up for the February 1, 1973 game against Toronto. Phil Esposito had a hat trick and five points while Orr had four points as the Bruins won 5-2. After a 7-3 loss to the Rangers on February 3, the Bruins lost only once more in February. Ross Brooks played a solid game in tying Philadelphia 2-2 on February 4 before Phil Esposito scored the winning goal, his 35th of the season, to beat Minnesota 3-2 on February 7. After this game, Tom Johnson was relieved of coaching duties and returned to an executive role with the Bruins. Bep Guidolin, who began his NHL career with the Bruins as a 16 year old in the 1942-43 season, took over. After a disastrous time in the WHA, where he played only eight games and his contract was bought out, Derek Sanderson was signed by the Bruins as a free agent. He returned to the line-up on February 10, wearing jersey #27, as Boston beat Pittsburgh 6-3 with Mike Walton scoring a hat trick.
Ross Brooks recorded his first NHL shutout during the 2-0 win over Los Angeles on February 11 and won again in the next game, 7-3, against Vancouver on February 13. Bobby Orr was a factor in every goal on February 15 in a 3-1 win over the Flyers. Derek Sanderson had his first goal since returning to the Bruins during the 4-1 win over Chicago on February 18. The goal was shorthanded while Ken Hodge scored his 30th goal of the season and Brooks picked up the win. Trailing 4-0 to Vancouver on February 20, the Bruins exploded with four goals in the second period in a 7-6 win as Hodge had the winner. Boston ended the month by peppering Kings goalie Gary Edwards with 52 shots in a 7-5 win. John Bucyk had a hat trick while Brooks went undefeated in February. Bobby Orr had 18 goals and 76 points while Phil Esposito still led the league in scoring with 40 goals and 97 points. With a 40-17-5 record the Bruins still trailed the Rangers and Canadiens in the Eastern Division standings.
The Bruins stumbled at the start of March, losing their first two games after Garnet Bailey was traded for Gary Doak. Bailey was an integral part of both Bruins Cup wins while Doak would play for Boston until the 1980-81 season. Jacques Plante was acquired from Toronto and shutout Chicago 4-0 in his first game for Boston on March 4, 1973. Beginning with the 3-2 win over Atlanta on March 9, Boston went on a ten game winning streak with Plante, Ed Johnston and Ross Brooks sharing the goaltending duties. Playing with Gregg Sheppard versus Montreal on March 11, Doug Roberts and Fred O'Donnell had a fantastic game, each scoring a goal, in a 5-3 win. Plante record his third victory and an assist during the 4-1 win over Buffalo on March 15 as Bobby Orr scored his second goal of the game on a 200 foot shot into an empty net. Boston thumped Atlanta 7-1 on March 18 with Phil Esposito collecting five points and his linemates Wayne Cashman and Ken Hodge, three each.
The winning streak continued on March 22 against Minnesota with a 5-3 victory as Bobby Orr made one of the most incredible plays of his career. With the Bruins leading 2-1 nearing the nine minute mark of the second period, Orr was knocked to ice while rushing into the North Stars zone. While sliding on his back, he made a perfect blind backhand pass to John Bucyk who scored, one of five points Bucyk had in the game. The Bruins passed the Rangers for second place in the East Division with the win. Jacques Plante assisted on the winning goal during the 3-0 triumph over the New York Rangers on March 24 and picked up his second shutout of the month.
During the 6-1 win over Buffalo on March 25, Phil Esposito scored his 50th and 51st goals while Bobby Orr also had two goals. During the March 28 game versus the Rangers, with the game tied 3-3 early in the third period, and having already scored, Phil Esposito added three consecutive goals for a 6-3 win, cementing the Bruins hold on second place. Despite Bobby Orr scoring a hat trick against Toronto on March 31, the Bruins lost 7-3 with Ed Johnston in net. The Bruins closed out the regular season with a 5-3 loss to Montreal on April 1 in which Johnston was pulled for Ross Brooks. Phil Esposito won his fourth Art Ross Trophy, was runner-up for the MVP and made the First All-Star Team. Bobby Orr finished third in league scoring, despite missing 15 games, won his sixth consecutive James Norris Memorial Trophy and also made the First All-Star Team. Thirty-eight year old John Bucyk finished eighth in league scoring.
|New York Rangers||78||47||23||8||297||208||765||102|
|Detroit Red Wings||78||37||29||12||265||243||893||86|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||78||27||41||10||247||279||716||64|
|New York Islanders||78||12||60||6||170||347||881||30|
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.
|Regular Season Results|
|1||L||October 8, 1972||2–4||Los Angeles Kings (1972–73)||0–1–0|
|2||L||October 11, 1972||3–4||@ Detroit Red Wings (1972–73)||0–2–0|
|3||W||October 14, 1972||7–4||@ New York Islanders (1972–73)||1–2–0|
|4||W||October 15, 1972||8–4||Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73)||2–2–0|
|5||L||October 18, 1972||1–7||@ New York Rangers (1972–73)||2–3–0|
|6||W||October 21, 1972||4–2||@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73)||3–3–0|
|7||L||October 22, 1972||4–5||Vancouver Canucks (1972–73)||3–4–0|
|8||T||October 25, 1972||2–2||@ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73)||3–4–1|
|9||L||October 26, 1972||3–6||Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73)||3–5–1|
|10||W||October 28, 1972||3–2||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73)||4–5–1|
|11||W||October 29, 1972||9–1||New York Islanders (1972–73)||5–5–1|
|12||L||November 2, 1972||2–5||@ Los Angeles Kings (1972–73)||5–6–1|
|13||T||November 3, 1972||6–6||@ California Golden Seals (1972–73)||5–6–2|
|14||W||November 5, 1972||4–2||@ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73)||6–6–2|
|15||W||November 9, 1972||8–3||Detroit Red Wings (1972–73)||7–6–2|
|16||L||November 12, 1972||3–5||Montreal Canadiens (1972–73)||7–7–2|
|17||W||November 16, 1972||4–0||St. Louis Blues (1972–73)||8–7–2|
|18||W||November 18, 1972||7–3||@ New York Islanders (1972–73)||9–7–2|
|19||W||November 19, 1972||6–5||Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73)||10–7–2|
|20||W||November 23, 1972||4–2||California Golden Seals (1972–73)||11–7–2|
|21||W||November 24, 1972||4–0||@ Atlanta Flames (1972–73)||12–7–2|
|22||W||November 26, 1972||6–4||Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73)||13–7–2|
|23||T||November 29, 1972||3–3||@ Montreal Canadiens (1972–73)||13–7–3|
|24||W||November 30, 1972||5–4||Buffalo Sabres (1972–73)||14–7–3|
|25||W||December 3, 1972||5–1||New York Islanders (1972–73)||15–7–3|
|26||W||December 7, 1972||5–0||St. Louis Blues (1972–73)||16–7–3|
|27||W||December 9, 1972||4–3||@ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73)||17–7–3|
|28||W||December 10, 1972||8–4||California Golden Seals (1972–73)||18–7–3|
|29||L||December 13, 1972||3–7||@ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73)||18–8–3|
|30||W||December 14, 1972||4–2||New York Rangers (1972–73)||19–8–3|
|31||W||December 17, 1972||5–3||@ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73)||20–8–3|
|32||W||December 19, 1972||3–2||@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73)||21–8–3|
|33||W||December 21, 1972||8–1||Detroit Red Wings (1972–73)||22–8–3|
|34||W||December 23, 1972||3–1||Atlanta Flames (1972–73)||23–8–3|
|35||W||December 27, 1972||3–1||@ Atlanta Flames (1972–73)||24–8–3|
|36||W||December 29, 1972||2–0||@ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73)||25–8–3|
|37||W||January 1, 1973||8–2||@ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73)||26–8–3|
|38||L||January 4, 1973||2–4||@ St. Louis Blues (1972–73)||26–9–3|
|39||L||January 7, 1973||4–5||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73)||26–10–3|
|40||T||January 11, 1973||1–1||Minnesota North Stars (1972–73)||26–10–4|
|41||W||January 13, 1973||4–1||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73)||27–10–4|
|42||W||January 14, 1973||6–0||Buffalo Sabres (1972–73)||28–10–4|
|43||L||January 18, 1973||7–9||New York Islanders (1972–73)||28–11–4|
|44||L||January 20, 1973||0–3||@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73)||28–12–4|
|45||W||January 21, 1973||5–2||California Golden Seals (1972–73)||29–12–4|
|46||L||January 24, 1973||2–4||@ New York Rangers (1972–73)||29–13–4|
|47||L||January 25, 1973||2–4||Detroit Red Wings (1972–73)||29–14–4|
|48||L||January 27, 1973||2–4||Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73)||29–15–4|
|49||W||January 28, 1973||6–5||Los Angeles Kings (1972–73)||30–15–4|
|50||W||February 1, 1973||5–2||Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73)||31–15–4|
|51||L||February 3, 1973||3–7||New York Rangers (1972–73)||31–16–4|
|52||T||February 4, 1973||2–2||Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73)||31–16–5|
|53||W||February 7, 1973||3–2||@ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73)||32–16–5|
|54||W||February 10, 1973||6–3||Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73)||33–16–5|
|55||W||February 11, 1973||2–0||Los Angeles Kings (1972–73)||34–16–5|
|56||W||February 13, 1973||7–3||Vancouver Canucks (1972–73)||35–16–5|
|57||W||February 15, 1973||3–1||@ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73)||36–16–5|
|58||L||February 17, 1973||2–5||@ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73)||36–17–5|
|59||W||February 18, 1973||4–1||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73)||37–17–5|
|60||W||February 20, 1973||7–6||@ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73)||38–17–5|
|61||W||February 21, 1973||6–2||@ California Golden Seals (1972–73)||39–17–5|
|62||W||February 24, 1973||7–5||@ Los Angeles Kings (1972–73)||40–17–5|
|63||L||March 1, 1973||3–4||St. Louis Blues (1972–73)||40–18–5|
|64||L||March 3, 1973||1–5||@ Montreal Canadiens (1972–73)||40–19–5|
|65||W||March 4, 1973||4–0||Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73)||41–19–5|
|66||L||March 7, 1973||2–5||@ St. Louis Blues (1972–73)||41–20–5|
|67||W||March 9, 1973||3–2||@ Atlanta Flames (1972–73)||42–20–5|
|68||W||March 11, 1973||5–3||Montreal Canadiens (1972–73)||43–20–5|
|69||W||March 13, 1973||3–0||@ New York Islanders (1972–73)||44–20–5|
|70||W||March 15, 1973||4–1||@ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73)||45–20–5|
|71||W||March 16, 1973||5–4||@ Detroit Red Wings (1972–73)||46–20–5|
|72||W||March 18, 1973||7–1||Atlanta Flames (1972–73)||47–20–5|
|73||W||March 22, 1973||5–3||Minnesota North Stars (1972–73)||48–20–5|
|74||W||March 24, 1973||3–0||New York Rangers (1972–73)||49–20–5|
|75||W||March 25, 1973||6–1||Buffalo Sabres (1972–73)||50–20–5|
|76||W||March 28, 1973||6–3||@ New York Rangers (1972–73)||51–20–5|
|77||L||March 31, 1973||3–7||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73)||51–21–5|
|78||L||April 1, 1973||3–5||Montreal Canadiens (1972–73)||51–22–5|
New York Rangers 4, Boston Bruins 1
The teams met the year before in the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals where the Bruins prevailed in six games. Rangers coach Emile Francis had watched game films of the Bruins and noticed that Bobby Orr was favoring his knee. Instead of trying to keep the puck away from Orr when shooting the puck in Boston's zone, Francis instructed his players to put the puck in Orr's corner and then forecheck him aggressively. Although he had played well in his short time with the Bruins, goalie Jacques Plante didn't hold up in this series. He was replaced with Eddie Johnston and Ross Brooks but all were outplayed by the Rangers Eddie Giacomin.
Game 1 at the Boston Garden saw Plante and Giacomin start in goal. The Bruins Doug Roberts and the Rangers Brad Park traded first period goals before Bruce MacGregor put New York up 2-1 at 7:25. The next shift, Ted Irvine targeted Orr and the two fought, both receiving seven penalty minutes. With Orr off, the Rangers scored three goals, Park with his second of the game and two goals from Walt Tkaczuk. With New York leading 5-1 heading into the third period, Pete Stemkowski and Derek Sanderson traded goals. Orr was held pointless as was Phil Esposito's line, which was badly outplayed by Tkaczuk's line, as the Rangers stunned the Bruins 6-2.
Game 2 at Boston again saw Plante and Giacomin start in goal. The teams traded goals in the first period with Wayne Cashman and Steve Vickers scoring. Phil Esposito assisted on Cashman's goal which would be his only point of the series. In the second period, disaster struck the Bruins after the Rangers Ron Harris caught Esposito with a hip check, tearing Esposito's right knee ligaments and putting him out of the series. The Bruins then took two penalties in quick succession which the Rangers Ted Irvine and Pete Stemkowski scored on. Doug Roberts scored his second of the series to cut the Rangers lead to 3-2 heading into the third period. With Roberts in the penalty box, Walt Tkaczuk scored his third of the series. Orr was again held scoreless as the Rangers won 4-2 and took a two games to none lead with the series heading to New York.
Game 3 at Madison Square Garden saw Plante replaced by Eddie Johnston in net for the Bruins. Reaching the end of his brilliant career, Plante played his last NHL match in Game 2. Derek Sanderson took Phil Esposito's place centering Wayne Cashman and Ken Hodge. The changes sparked the Bruins, who took a 1-0 lead on a shorthanded goal by Gregg Sheppard. Pete Stemkowski tied it up just before the first period ended. Boston's second line scored its first goal of the series as Fred Stanfield put the Bruins up 2-1 at 3:13 of the second period. Jean Ratelle tied it up at 6:12 of the third period, deflecting in a Dale Rolfe shot. Just past the halfway mark, Sheppard intercepted a Steve Vickers pass and scored his second of the game on a breakaway which proved to be the winner. Mike Walton scored an empty net goal as the Bruins won 4-2 behind a stellar performance by Johnston, despite New York out shooting Boston 37-27. Bobby Orr didn't have a point for the third straight game.
Game 4 at New York saw Johnston start again for Boston while Giacomin remained in the net for the Rangers. New York scored early as Brad Park led a 3 on 1 which ended with a tap-in by Rod Gilbert at 2:35 of the first period. At 16:30, after the Bruins twice failed to clear the puck from their zone, a Bruce MacGregor shot caromed off the boards to Pete Stemkowski who knocked it in the short side on Johnston for a 2-0 Rangers lead. In the second period, Bobby Rousseau beat Johnston with a slapshot while on a partial breakaway before Don Marcotte overskated the puck which resulted in Steve Vickers gaining the puck alone in front of Johnston. He fired a low shot past Johnston for a 4-0 Rangers lead. The third period was scoreless, even though Boston twice had a two man advantage. Despite being outshot 33-25, a brilliant defensive effort saw the Rangers take a three games to one stranglehold on the series. Giacomin earned the shutout, the first by a Ranger goalie in the playoffs since Chuck Rayner had one in the 1950 Semi-finals.
Game 5 at Boston saw the desperate Bruins start Ross Brooks in goal for his only career playoff game while Giacomin started his fifth straight game. Steve Vickers scored on the first shift of the game but a little over a minute later, Bobby Orr evened the score with his only goal of the series. Ken Hodge gave Boston a 2-1 lead at 12:45 on the power play before Vickers and Bruce MacGregor scored two quick goals. Ed Johnston went in for Brooks to start the second period and held the Rangers at bay until the last minute when Walt Tkaczuk potted his fourth of the series. Rod Gilbert put New York up 5-2 at 4:10 of the third period until three minutes later, Don Marcotte cut the lead to 5-3. However, it was all the offense the Bruins could muster. Vickers completed his first career playoff hat trick as the Rangers won 6-3 and took the series.
|1||April 4||New York Rangers||6-2||Boston Bruins||1-0|
|2||April 5||New York Rangers||4-2||Boston Bruins||2-0|
|3||April 7||Boston Bruins||4-2||New York Rangers||1-2|
|4||April 8||Boston Bruins||0-4||New York Rangers||1-3|
|5||April 10||New York Rangers||6-3||Boston Bruins||4-1|
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
- Art Ross Memorial Trophy: Phil Esposito (4th win)
- Hart Memorial Trophy: Phil Esposito, Runner up
- James Norris Memorial Trophy: Bobby Orr (6th win)
- NHL Goal Scoring Leader: Phil Esposito (4th win)
- Hart Memorial Trophy: Bobby Orr, Third place
- Phil Esposito, Center, NHL First Team All-Star
- Bobby Orr, Defence, NHL First Team All-Star
- Lose Don Tannahill to the Vancouver Canucks in the intra-league draft on June 5, 1972.
- Sign Derek Sanderson as a free agent, February 7, 1973.
- Trade Garnet Bailey to the Detroit Red Wings for Gary Doak on March 1, 1973.
- Trade first round pick in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft (Ian Turnbull) and future considerations (Ed Johnston) to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jacques Plante and a third round pick in the 1973 Draft (Doug Gibson) on March 3, 1973.
- See also: 1972 NHL Amateur Draft
|Round||#||Player||Nationality||College/Junior/Club Team (League)|
|1||16||Mike Bloom||Canada||St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)|
|2||32||Wayne Elder||Canada||London Knights (OHA)|
|3||48||Michel Boudreau||Canada||Laval National (QMJHL)|
|4||64||Les Jackson||Canada||New Westminster Bruins (WCHL)|
|5||80||Brian Coates||Canada||Brandon Wheat Kings (WCHL)|
|6||96||Peter Gaw||Canada||Ottawa 67's (OHA)|
|7||112||Gordie Clark||Scotland||U. of New Hampshire (ECAC)|
|8||128||Roy Carmichael||Canada||New Westminster Bruins (WCHL)|
- John Bucyk scored his 1000th career point during the 8-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on November 9, 1972.
- Jacques Plante wore jersey #31 on March 4, 1973. This was the first time a Bruin wore #31 and was the highest number, up to that time, that a Bruin had ever worn.
- Bobby Orr had a six assist game during the 8-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on January 1, 1973.
- Bruins who recorded a Hat trick this season include:
- Gregg Sheppard during the 9-1 win over the New York Islanders on October 29, 1972.
- Ken Hodge during the 8-4 win over the California Golden Seals on December 10, 1972.
- Phil Esposito during the 8-2 win over Vancouver on January 1, 1973.
- Phil Esposito had a four goal game during the 6-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on January 14, 1973.
- John Bucyk had a four goal game during the 9-7 loss to the Islanders on January 18, 1973.
- Wayne Cashman during the 5-2 win over California on January 21, 1973.
- Wayne Cashman during the 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Kings on January 28, 1973.
- Phil Esposito during the 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 1, 1973.
- Mike Walton during the 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 10, 1973.
- John Bucyk during the 7-5 win over Los Angeles on February 24, 1973.
- Phil Esposito had a four goal game during the 6-3 win over the New York Rangers on March 28, 1973.
- Bobby Orr during the 7-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 31, 1973.
Highlights of the Bruins-Islanders game on January 18, 1973.
- 1972-73 Boston Bruins Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-09.
- National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.220, 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|
|1972–73 NHL season by team|
|East||Boston • Buffalo • Detroit • Montreal • NY Islanders • NY Rangers • Toronto • Vancouver|
|West||Atlanta • California • Chicago • Los Angeles • Minnesota • Philadelphia • Pittsburgh • St. Louis|
|See also||1972 NHL Amateur Draft • All-Star Game • 1973 Stanley Cup Finals|