• Nick Abramo

Bruins Are All The Rage On Mother's Day, Like 50 Years Ago

OK, whew, here we are. First post done and published. Website created and rolling. Time for another post. This one will be a lot shorter than the initial one. That was a doozie and if you made it through, I congratulate you. It was a cool take, imo, on NHL hockey jerseys and social closeness-ing. It also included a lot of personal history that I realize not everyone in the world gives a hoot about. We're sticking with hockey today. That's because it's been 50 years since one of the most exciting times in my life. The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup exactly 50 years ago Sunday. It's Mother's Day today and it was Mother's Day then. We watched all the games on WSBK Channel 38 and they used a song called "Nutty" by the Ventures as the intro. Look at that video below and you'll hear that opening theme and see a GREAT highlight reel of Bobby Orr, the greatest of all-time in the opinions of many in the know. Gretzky was indeed great and has a claim to the title, but go and find a highlight reel that is better than Orr's and get back to me and we'll talk.

The best highlight reel of Bobby Orr on the Internet. And I've looked for years.

For the 50-year anniversary of the momentous occasion when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 29 years, the NHL Network is showing a new documentary on that 1969-70 season on Sunday along with several other shows about the Bruins, including a round-table discussion of that magical season. I recall one huge game that year came in the regular season when the Bruins played the Blackhawks in a first-place battle. I will go and hunt down that hockey-reference.com box score when I get a chance. But I recall my brother was at that game. Chicago, a huge rival at the time, was in first place in the Eastern Division, but being chased closely by the Bruins. We Boston fans thought for sure that Orr and company would win, but the squad ended up losing 1-0.

My brother Joe Abramo bought me this Bobby Orr doll soon after I moved to Hawaii in 1989. I took a picture of it in this famous pose and sent it to him before Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against St. Louis in 2019. Luckily, in the 1990s, my French-Canadian Montreal friend Marc-Andre Gagnon only got called for roughing on the doll. No serious incidents. I thought for sure he might be called for intent to injure.

So, in the 1970 NHL semifinals a few months later, it was a little scary for us. The Bruins were going up against the Blackhawks for a seven-game series. But, lo and behold, the unbelievable good feelings started to come around at that time, when everyone started to realize what seemed like destiny -- that tBoston was destined to win the Cup. That's because Chicago couldn't keep up and Boston swept in four games.

Next up in the Final: the St. Louis Blues, who were still an expansion team, having joined the league three years earlier. We didn't think they had any kind of shot. And sure enough, the Bruins took the Blues in four straight, with Bobby Orr's historic goal coming 40 seconds into overtime of Game 4 -- a give-and-go with Derek Sanderson. Boom, puck is in the net. Glenn Hall, the goalie, is down. Bobby Orr is up, up and away. My sister Marsha bought me the poster a few months later. It's tattered now, but I still bring it out to display with other memorabilia for Bruins playoff runs.

This is my poster next to a story by Sports Illustrated from just before Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final against St. Louis. It ended up being the Blues' time for glory. My poster and the photo in the article are by two different photographers. You'll notice on my poster, of which color was added to the black and white frame, has the date and name of the local photographer displayed. What a moment, though. For me, it was WAY more exciting than when the U.S. beat Russia en route to the gold medal in 1980. Can you believe that? True. You can get a better idea of the hockey temperature in Boston at that time by reading the following stories that have come out on the internet within the last few days. The writers are preparing the NHL Network hockey audience for what they're about to see Sunday. >> "Inside the NHL Network's documentary on Bobby Orr and the Big Bad Bruins", from Boston.com.

>> "Orr's dominance for 1970 champion Bruins featured in new documentary", from NHL.com.

>>" 'Big, Bad, & Bobby': How Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito helped break Stanley Cup drought for Bruins in 1970", from CBS.com. I could regale you with more stories from that time, such as how we staged the Bobby Orr goal (including the give-and-go to Sanderson) what seemed like a thousand times while playing street hockey. The best time was when we set up the goal to happen near a snowbank, so we could just jump and land without worrying about getting hurt. It was an amazingly special time. What other fourth-grader would write this on the manila envelope that my year-end report card came home in: "May 10, 1970. Wow!!"

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