May 29, 2011

IF THE SEASON WERE DONE BY THE END OF MARCH, AS IT SHOULD BE...:

In ’72, they lifted Cup and region: Swashbuckling Bruins owned the town when last atop hockey world (John Powers, May 29, 2011 , Boston Globe)

The Bruins owned this town in 1972, when they won their second National Hockey League championship in three years, and now that their Spoked-B successors will be playing Vancouver for Lord Stanley’s mug, McKenzie and his former teammates have become celebrities again.

“Every time you go someplace, it’s just phenomenal,’’ says Ken Hodge. “Granted, we’re seeing a lot more grandmothers than we used to, but people remember.’’

They remember a rambunctious crew of frat brothers who performed with moxie and menace and magic, who filled the old Garden to its 13,909 capacity every night, who revived Boston as a hockey town and inspired the creation of dozens of rinks filled with Pee Wees who dreamed of becoming the next Bobby Orr or Phil Esposito or Gerry Cheevers.

“What was so wonderful about those teams was that they made people around you who knew nothing about hockey, like my mother, into absolutely devoted fans,’’ says Dick Johnson, curator of The Sports Museum at TD Garden. “The Bruins became an extension of your family.’’

There was a blue-collar bonhomie to the players that made their fans consider them neighbors.

“They were approachable,’’ recalls Jerry Lauretano, a Somerville native who runs a hair salon there. “I saw Bobby Orr and Gary Doak at a roast beef place in Nahant. I saw Eddie Westfall at a set of lights at Science Park. I saw Derek Sanderson down at Falmouth Heights.’’

Along with the expectation of excellence, those Bruins established the Lunchpail A.C. ethic that still motivates the current roster (whose coach, Claude Julien, spent summers tarring roofs during his playing days).

Unlike this year’s edition, though, the 1972 Bruins had the stage to themselves at a time when the Red Sox were between pennants, the Celtics between titles, and the Patriots were perennial losers.


...they'd totally own the region again. As is, they have to compete with the best team in baseball, even on their own channel.


Posted by at May 29, 2011 8:59 AM
  

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