Boston Sports Franchises: Boston Bruins
April 6, 2011 Leave a comment
Stanley Cups: (5) 1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972
Retired Numbers: #2 Eddie Shore, #3 Lionel Hitchman, #4 Bobby Orr, #5 Aubrey Clapper, #7 Phil Esposito, #8 Cam Neely, #9 Johnny Bucyk, #15 Milt Schmidt, #24 Terry O’Reilly, #77 Ray Bourque
Rivals: Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers
The Boston Bruins joined the NHL in 1924 as the League’s first United States-based team. They are one of the “Original Six” along with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, and Chicago Blackhawks.
“Bruins” is a name for brown bears in old-time literature, which went along well with the team’s original colors of brown and yellow, which came from the team’s first owner, Charles Adams. Adams owned a grocery store chain called First National Stores.
The Bruins won their inaugural game against the Montreal Canadiens on December 1, 1924 by a score of 2-1. They went on to win only five more games that year, compiling a 6-24-0 record for last place.
They greatly improved in their third season, reaching the Stanley Cup Final, even though they finished the regular season only one game above .500. They lost to the Ottawa Senators, but that experience helped them as two years later they beat the Rangers for their first championship.
The Bruins’ success continued throughout the following regular season as the team won 38 out of 44 games, a .875 winning percentage representing an NHL record that still stands today. However, their success couldn’t lift them to a win over the Canadiens in the Cup Final.
The team dominated throughout the 1930s, leading the League’s standings five times, but couldn’t carry that success into the playoffs until 1939. That same season, the team changed its colors from the original brown and yellow to the current black and gold. The Bruins brought their second Stanley Cup back to Boston that same year.
Two seasons later, the Bruins only lost eight games, going 27-8-13 for 67 points, and carried their success throughout the playoffs, culminating in a sweep of the Red Wings in the Cup Final to capture their third Stanley Cup.
In 1964, the Bruins signed a player out of Parry Sound, Ontario, by the name of Bobby Orr. He made his NHL debut in 1966 and the rest is history.
The Bruins saw their fair share of success over the next 29 years, but it all came together in the early 1970s when they captured two Cups in three years (1969-1970 and 1971-1972). In the 1970 Cup Final, Orr scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 4. The Cup was only one of the many awards Orr won that season, as he took home The Norris Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy, the only player to win all four in one season.
Since their success throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the Bruins have stayed competitive in the Eastern Conference and are looking to build around a young nucleus of talent which includes newcomer Nathan Horton and stalwarts Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic.
*Thank you to NHL.com for providing the majority of the information for this piece.