The 1969–70 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 46th season in the NHL.The Bruins were coming off of a successful season in 1968–69, as they finished with a franchise record 100 points, sitting in 2nd place in the Eastern Division, however, they would lose to the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Division finals. This year, the Bruins would go all the way to the Final and win the Stanley Cup.
The year was marred by an infamous incident in a preseason game against the St. Louis Blues, when veteran Ted Green had an ugly stick fight with Wayne Maki of the Blues. Green suffered a fractured skull and a brain injury as a result of the fight, necessitating a permanent steel plate put in his head and missing the entirety of the season. Both were charged with assault as a result of the incident, the first time NHL players faced criminal charges as a result of on-ice violence, and were eventually acquitted.
Boston got off to a quick start, going unbeaten in their first 7 games (6–0–1), which immediately was followed by a 5-game winless streak. The Bruins though would snap out of their mini-slump, and never have a 2-game losing streak for the remainder of the season, finishing the year with a 40–17–19 record, earning 99 points, which tied the Chicago Black Hawks for 1st place in the Eastern Division. Chicago was awarded 1st place though due to having more wins than Boston, as the Hawks recorded 45.
Bobby Orr had a breakout season, leading the league with 120 points, becoming the first defenseman in league history to record over 100 points, while setting an NHL record with 87 assists. Orr also scored 33 goals, which also was a record by a defenseman. Orr also provided toughness, leading the Bruins with 125 PIM. Phil Esposito had another very strong season, scoring 43 goals and earning 99 points, while John McKenzie registered 70 points. Thirty-four-year-old John Bucyk scored a career high 31 goals and tied his career best with 69 points.
In goal, Gerry Cheevers received the majority of playing time, winning a team high 24 games, and having a team best 2.72 GAA and 4 shutouts. Eddie Johnston was his backup, as he won 16 games, had a 2.98 GAA, and 3 shutouts.
In the playoffs, Boston opened up against the New York Rangers, who finished in 4th place in the Eastern Division, with 92 points, 7 less than the Bruins. The series opened up at the Boston Garden, and the Bruins continued their winning ways at home, taking the first 2 games to take an early series lead. The series then moved to Madison Square Garden in New York for the next 2 games, and the Rangers responded with 2 close wins, and tied the series up at 2 games each. Boston returned home for game 5, and took a 3–2 series lead with a hard fought 3–2 win in the game, and the Bruins would finish off the Rangers in game 6 on the road, beating New York 4–1, and advance to the Eastern Division finals.
The Bruins opponent for the division finals was the Chicago Black Hawks, who finished with 99 points, the same as Boston, but had more wins, so they were awarded home ice for the series. Boston would surprise the Chicago fans by taking the first 2 games held at Chicago Stadium with relative ease to take a 2–0 series lead. Boston then took game 3 by a 5–2 score at the Boston Garden, and took a commanding 3–0 lead in the series. The Black Hawks would keep game 4 close, but would lose, as Boston won the game 5–4, and swept Chicago, to advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1958.
Boston Bruins vs. St. Louis Blues
Boston would face the winner of the Western Division, the St. Louis Blues, who were making their 3rd straight Stanley Cup final appearance. The Blues had previously been swept by the Montreal Canadiens in their first 2 times in the finals. St. Louis had defeated the Minnesota North Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins to earn a spot. The series would open at the St. Louis Arena, and the Bruins had no problems at all in their first 2 games, defeating the Blues by scores of 6–1 and 6–2, and took a 2–0 series lead. The series shifted to Boston for the next 2 games, and the Bruins again dominated game 3, winning 4–1. St. Louis would force the 4th game into overtime; however the Bruins, on a goal by Bobby Orr, would win the game 4–3, winning an NHL record 10th straight playoff game, and win their first cup since 1941, and the 4th in franchise history. The still photo of Orr flying through the air after scoring "The Goal" became one of the most iconic images of NHL history, and was the basis of a bronze sculpture of the event outside the TD Garden's main entrance in 2010, the date of the event's 40th anniversary.Scoring
Note:Pos = Position; GPI = Games played in; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes; +/- = Plus/minus; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals
Min, TOI = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T,T/OT = Ties; OTL = Overtime losses; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts; SA = Shots against; SV = Shots saved; SV% = Save percentage;
Bobby Orr, Art Ross Memorial Trophy
Bobby Orr, Conn Smythe Trophy
Bobby Orr, Hart Memorial Trophy
Bobby Orr, Norris Trophy
Bobby Orr, NHL Plus/Minus Award
Bobby Orr, NHL Record, Plus/Minus +124
Tom Johnson's name was engraved T. Johnson TR by mistake. Johnson was actually the assistant manager, not the trainer. The mistake was not corrected on the replica Cup created in 1992–93.
Ted Green received a head injury in a pre-season game. He missed the entire season, but his name was still engraved on the Stanley Cup. John Adams (goal) and Ivan Boldirev (forward) had their names engraved on the Cup before they played their first NHL game. Boldirev played his first NHL game during 1970–71 season, Adams played his first NHL game for Boston during in the 1972–73 season. Dan Schock played in the minors, but was called up to play one playoff game, earning a spot on the Stanley Cup.
Boston's draft picks at the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft