Boston Bruins

History of the Boston Bruins

The term “Bruins” is an Old English word which means brown bears. This is also the name that was given to one of NHL’s Original Six teams, the Boston Bruins.

Minor League Affiliates:  – Providence Bruins (AHL)      - Reading Royals (ECHL)

Stanley Cups:                              

(6)(1928 – 29, 1938 – 39, 1940 -41, 1969 – 70, 1971 – 72, 2010- 2011)

Conference Championships:

(3) (1987 – 88, 1989 – 90, 2010 – 11)

Presidents’ Trophies:              

(1) (1989 – 90)

Division Championships: (23) (1927 – 28, 1928 – 29, 1929 – 30, 1930 – 31, 1932 – 33, 1934 – 35, 1937 – 38, 1970 – 71, 1971 – 72, 1973 – 74, 1975 – 76, 1976 – 77,  1978 – 79, 1982 – 83, 1983 – 84, 1989 – 90, 1990 – 91, 1992 – 93, 2001 – 02, 2003 – 04, 2008 – 09, 2010 – 2011)

The team was founded by grocery tycoon, Charles Adams on November 1, 1924, and became the first American team in the NHL. He hired former star player, Art Ross as the general manager, who was also responsible for coming up with the Bruins nickname. On December 1, 1924, the Bruins had their first NHL game at the Boston Arena. They pitted against the Montreal Maroons and won the game by a 2-1 score. This was followed by three more seasons playing in the arena until they found their new home at the Boston Garden on November 20, 1928.

In their third season, the Bruins showed great improvement. This didn’t escape Ross’ radar and so he took advantage of the then troubled Western Hockey League by purchasing several western stars including the team’s first superstar, Eddie Shore – a professional ice hockey defenseman from Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.

The years that followed earned Boston Bruins the success that made them a household name among hockey fans. Tucked under the franchise’s belt are six Stanley Cups and twenty-three Division championships.

Early Achievements of the Boston Bruins

The Bruins’ first Stanley Cup happened in the 1928-29 season. Leading the team in its first NHL championship were Ralph ‘Cooney’ Weiland, Eddie Shore, Lionel Hitchman, Dit Clapper, Dutch Gainor, and Cecil ‘Tiny’ Thompson. They excited the crowd with their winning tactic, the Dynamite Line.

In the 1930s, the team collected five first-place finishes, with many individual honors. Tiny Thompson was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league’s premier goalie four times. Eddie Shore was another to bring victory for the team after he was awarded the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) four times.

Yet, despite the accolades, Thompson was traded for rookie goaltender, Frank ‘Mr. Zero’ Brimsek. During the 1938-39 season, the Bruins captured their 2nd Stanley Cup, with legendary goalie Frank ‘Mr. Zero’ Brimsek and Eddie Shore leading the team. Brimsek also captured the Vezina and Calder Trophies, making him the first rookie to be named NHL First All-Star Team.

In 1940, Shore was traded to the New York Americans. The following year, the Bruins captured their 3rd Stanley Cup – the teams first Stanley Cup after 29 years.

During the World War II, some of Bruins’ great players enlisted to fight in the war. Among them are Brimsek, Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart. The move somehow hurt the fate of the team. And when the stars came back for the 1945-46 season, the team’s performance was far from brilliant. Brimsek in particular was no longer as good as he was before joining the war. He was later traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1949. Between the 1960 and 1967, the Boston Bruins would miss the playoffs.

Another 29 years had passed before the Bruins would win another Stanley Cup in 1970, defeating the St. Louis Blues in four games. Defenseman Bobby Orr scored the clinching goal and on the same season, he had won the Art Ross Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy, and the Hart Memorial Trophy. Orr was the only player to ever won four major awards in the same season.

In 1971-72, the Bruins once again scored the Stanley Cup against the New York Rangers. The team won the best-of-seven series four-games to two.

Although the mid-70s, 80s, and the 90s have seen Bruins in playoffs and Cup Final appearances, the team was not lucky enough to regain the Cup championship. Nevertheless, the Bruins would finish as runner up with many honors, such as Bourque for the Norris, Oates for the Art Ross and Lady Byng Trophy, Joe Juneau for the Calder Trophy, Dave Poulin for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, Moog for the William M. Jennings Trophy, and coach Brian Sutter for the Jack Adams Award.

 

The Boston Bruins in the 20thand21stCentury

In 2000-01 season, the Bruins missed the playoffs by just one point. The following season, the team won their first Northeast Division title since 1993.

In 2003-04, the Bruins won another division title but luck was not on their side to make it to the Stanley championship.

In 2004-05 NHL season, the Bruins were wiped out by a lock out. And in 2006-07, the team finished last place in the division.

The 2008-09 season appeared to be a revival era for the team. They hadthe best record in the Eastern Conference and qualified for the playoffs for the fifth time in nine years. They faced the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs and defeated them in four games. While they’re starting to show off the team’s renewed strength they suffered a loss in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes in the conference semifinals.

The team went on and won the 2010 NHL Winter Classic over the Philadelphia Flyers in a 2–1 overtime decision at Fenway Park. And in the 2011 Stanley Cup, the Bruins shocked the world by defeating theVancouver Canucks in 7 games, breaking the 39-year Cup drought.

The team was the first in the NHL history to win a Game 7 three times in the same playoff run.