Like most Bostonians I have been indifferent to the Bruins the past 10 years or so which coincides to their moving to the TD Fleece Center BankNorth Garden. It my opinion it is a terrible building to watch hockey in. It has all the charm of a Wal-Mart and just doesn't have the character the musty old Garden had.
This may seem hard to believe but from 1969-75 the Bruins were as big in Boston as the Red Sox are today. They were known as the Big Bad Bruins and were led by a hockey god by the name of Bobby Orr.
The zenith occurred on Mother's Day of 1970 which was a hot sweltering day in the 80's.
Dan Kelly called the action on CBS
The city went absolutely bonkers. The next day there was a big parade from Park Square through the Combat Zone along Washington St and finally a huge rally at City Hall Plaza. They would win the Stanley Cup again 2 years later and we all thought many more would be won.
We are still waiting.
The team was sold in 1975 to a hot dog-popcorn concessionaire from Buffalo by the name of Jeremy Jacobs. Forbes this week listed him as the 785th richest person in the world with a worth of $ 1.5 billion. Bruins fans have been convinced for decades that he would rather make a profit than win. That maybe unfair as the Bruins have been to the finals in 77,78, 88 and 90 under his watch and just missed in 1979 as well losing a 7th game to Club de hockey Canadien.
The Canadiens were trailing the Bruins 4-3 in the dying minutes of Game 7 of the 1979 Stanley Cup semifinals. But after a costly Boston penalty and an overtime goal by Yvon Lambert, there was a celebration at the ForumComing just a few months after the Bucky Dent fiasco at Fenway Boston was one depressed city.
Club de hockey Canadien were just as hated in Boston as the Yankees are today. The Bruins simply could not beat them when it counted. They went 44 years without beating Montreal in a playoff series.
Boston-Montreal games in Montreal on a Saturday night were crazy. Thousands of Bostonians would make the trip as you could always get standing room at the Forum de Montreal. Montreal would usually win but the Boston fans would still party into the night.
Biggest brawl in a bar I ever saw happened in Montreal after a game. It wasn't between Montreal and Boston fans but fans from Charlestown and Southie going at it at a long gone two level German beer hall with a rotating stage called the Old Munich. It was surreal as the chairs and tables were flying while the band kept playing Oom Pa Pa Oom Pa Pa
I hope the Bruins make the playoffs something they haven't done in 4 years and win a series or two. It is highly unlikely they can win the Cup but there are no great teams in the NHL this year. Wouldn't it be ironic if the Bruins instead of the Celtics and Patriots get the parade down Boylston.