Season Recaps
Phil Esposito dominated the league offensively in the early 1970's.
The NHL schedule is increased to 78 games, and the Bruins once again sell out all home games. The B's score 25 short-handed goals, with Eddie Westfall netting seven of them. The Bruins set 37 individual and team NHL records. The Bruins enjoy a 13-game winning streak on the way to a first-place finish with 121 points. Bobby Orr earns his second straight Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player and his fourth straight Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the league. John Bucyk wins the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for gentlemanly play, and Phil Esposito takes home the Ross Trophy as leading scorer in the league. The Bruins lose in the first round of the playoffs in seven games to the Montreal Canadiens.
1971-72 - Stanley Cup Champions
Derek Sanderson scores seven of the Bruins' 18 short-handed goals. The Bruins finish atop the league for the second year in a row, this time with a 54-13-11 record for 119 points, a full ten points ahead of any other team. Phil Esposito scores 133 points to win his second consecutive Ross Trophy. Eddie Johnston collects four assists to break the record of most assists in a season by a goaltender. The Bruins defeat Toronto and St. Louis on the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, where Bobby Orr scored the Cup-winning goal for the second time in his career, beating the New York Rangers in six games. Orr becomes the first player to win the Conn Smythe trophy twice. Orr also wins his third consecutive Hart Trophy and his fifth consecutive Norris Trophy.
The Bruins again sell out all 39 home games at Boston Garden. For the third year in a row, Phil Esposito takes home the Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer, this year with 130 points. Bobby Orr is the Bruins second leading scorer behind Esposito with 101 points and earns the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman for the sixth straight year. The Bruins enjoy a ten-game winning streak and finish in second place in the Eastern Division. They are unable to defend the Stanley Cup, suffering a first-round loss to the New York Rangers.
Johnny "Chief" Bucyk joined Orr and Esposito on a devastating power play.
Ross Brooks and Gilles Gilbert share the success in net for the Bruins. Brooks records 14 consecutive victories on his way to a 16-3-0 record, and Gilbert shuts out the Blues in all three appearances against St. Louis. Bobby Orr has a seven-point night against the Rangers, scoring three goals and adding four assists, and is named the league's best defenseman for the seventh year in a row. Both Chris Oddleifson and Johnny Bucyk enjoy four-goal games. Phil Esposito compiles 145 points to win the Ross Trophy for the fourth consecutive year, and he takes home his second career Hart Trophy as the league MVP. In the last year of the East-West format, the Bruins finish with 113 points for the best record in the league. They sweep Toronto and then eliminate Chicago in six games to return to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lose in six games to the Philadelphia Flyers, the first expansion team to win the title.
Derek Sanderson is traded to the New York Rangers for Walt McKechnie. The Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts are admitted to the NHL, and the schedule is increased to 80 games. Gregg Sheppard finished fourth in scoring for the Bruins, scoring seven shorthanded goals. Bobby Orr wins the Ross Trophy for his 135-point offensive work and also wins his eighth consecutive Norris Trophy for his defensive work. The Bruins finish in second place in the new Adams Division with the fifth best point-total in the league. They lose in the preliminary round of the playoffs to the Chicago Blackhawks in a three-game series.
Don Cherry won the Jack Adams Trophy his second year behind the bench.

Johnny Bucyk scores the 500th goal of his career. In his second year behind the Bruins bench, Don Cherry wins the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL coach of the year. Bobby Orr undergoes two knee operations and is limited to just ten games, including his last in a Bruins uniform. The Bruins enjoy a 20-game home undefeated streak. In one of the biggest trades in NHL history, the Bruins obtain Brad Park, Jean Ratelle and Joe Zanussi for Phil Esposito and Carol Vadnais. After the trade, the Bruins lose only 10 of their final 68 games to finish with 113 points and first place in the Adams Division. The B's defeat the L.A. Kings in seven games in the first round but are eliminated by the defending Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers in the semi-finals.


The Bruins obtain Rick Middleton in exchange for Ken Hodge. Mike Milbury racks up 166 penalty minutes, breaking the long-standing team record held by Eddie Shore. In his first full season as a Bruin, Jean Ratelle leads the team in scoring with 94 points and plays in his 1,000th NHL game. Johnny Bucyk is co-winner of the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. The Bruins finish in first place in the Adams Division for the second year in a row. The B's eliminate L.A. in six games in the first round of the playoffs. They sweep Philadelphia in the second round but are swept by Montreal in the Finals.

Offensive skills notwithstanding, Terry O'Reilly was never afraid to drop the gloves.
Terry O'Reilly becomes the first player in NHL history to finish with 200 or more penalty minutes and finish in the top ten in scoring, as he leads the Bruins with 90 points. Wayne Cashman scored four goals in an April 2nd game against the Rangers. The Bruins maintain a shutout streak of 233 minutes and 45 seconds from 1:34 of the third period on Nov. 19th against Toronto until 5:19 of the first period on Nov. 26th against the Rangers, including shutouts against Chicago, Buffalo, and Washington. The Bruins enjoy an 11-game home winning streak on the way to their third consecutive first-place finish in the Adams Division. They sweep Chicago in the first round of the playoffs and defeat Philadelphia in five games in the second round but lose in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Montreal Canadiens for the second year in a row.

The Bruins are not shut out the entire season. Rick Middleton leads the team in scoring with 86 points. The Bruins have five of the top 17 leaders in shooting accuracy in the league with Rick Middleton, 25%, Terry O'Reilly, 22%, John Wensink, 21%, Wayne Cashman, 20%, and Al Secord, 20%. Bobby Orr's #4 is retired before the Jan. 9th exhibition game between the Bruins and the Soviet Wings. The Bruins sweep the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs. In game seven of the second round against the Montreal Canadiens, the game is sent into overtime when the Canadiens score on a third-period too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. The Canadiens then eliminate the Bruins in overtime.

A new rule takes effect requiring players who sign a contract after June 1, 1979, to wear protective head gear. The Bruins select Ray Bourque as the #1 pick in the 1979 Amateur Draft. He sets the NHL record for most points by a rookie defenseman with 65. Gilles Gilbert has the longest winning streak of the season by a goaltender with eight. Terry O'Reilly breaks his own team record for penalty minutes in a season with 265 minutes. Wayne Cashman plays his 800th career game. The Bruins retire Johnny Bucyk's #9 on March 13. The Bruins take second place in the Adams Division. They defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round for the second consecutive year, but lose to the eventual Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders in the second round.

Season Recaps