With the regular season winding down, and the Bruins still holding the best record in the National Hockey League, its only appropriate enough for this weeks Throwback Thursday top 10 to be dedicated to the best Bruins regular seasons in their 90-year history. Lets take a look at the list.
10. 2010-11 (46-25-11, 103 points)
This season is best known for Tim Thomas' historic accomplishments, but there was plenty to celebrate during the regular season.
Sure, the rest of the Black and Gold didn't put up historic numbers, and the B's, themselves, posted 46 wins. But the collection of talent came together at the right time. Nathan Horton fit right in with David Krejci and Milan Lucic on the first line, while Brad Marchand had a productive rookie season alongside Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi. GM Peter Chiarelli went out and acquired Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley in February, and those two provided instant chemistry with Michael Ryder, and the Merlot Line consisting of Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille provided the energy when the team needed it.
That chemistry meshed into a six-game road winning streak in late February, and despite a hickup in the middle of March, the Bruins went into the playoffs on a high note going 6-3-1 in their last 10. And the rest is history...
9. 1982-83 (50-20-10, 110 points)
With a new era of players including Ray Boruque, Barry Pederson and Pete Peters, and a strong veteran cast including Terry O'Reilly and Rick Middleton, the 1982-83 Bruins were itching at another chance of playing for a Stanley Cup. As the calendar turned to the new year, the Black and Gold began 1983 with a nine-game winning streak and never looked back en route to an Adams Division title.
This season is best known for Brad Park's game-winner in Game 7 of the Adams Division Finals against the Buffalo Sabres. That momentum did not carry over to the next round, however, as the New York Islanders took care of business in six games in the Conference Finals en route to their fourth straight Stanley Cup.
8. 1973-74 (52-17-9, 113 points)
Still in the middle of the Big Bad Bruins era, this core was poised for yet another Cup run. A very consistent Black and Gold squad led by Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk and company earned 113 points and another first place finish.
The upstart Philadelphia Flyers were the ones, however, to dethrone the Bruins from the top as they got their first taste of Lord's Stanley Cup in six games.
7. 1977-78 (51-18-11, 113 points)
Orr and Esposito were long gone at this point. So how do you get the best of a younger, hungrier core? You have Don Cherry do his thing.
In his fourth year behind the Bruins bench, Grapes led his team to a first place finish in the Adams Division and their first Stanley Cup Final appearance in four years. O'Reilly recorded his best offensive season of his career with 90 points, while Park continued to thrive on the blueline and 37-year old Jean Ratelle provided a nice surprise offensively with 80 points.
The Bruins lost to the Montreal Canadiens in six, but this brash core of players thrived under a flamboyant coach. And that's a good history lesson for all you kids out there.
6. 1938-39 (36-10-2, 74 points)
The legendary Art Ross was behind the bench and he had quite the core on display. Milt Schmidt entered his second season looking to make an impact, and he did as the third leading scorer on the team at the age of 20. Bill Cowley and Roy Conacher were also a great 1-2 punch up front and a strong back end that included Eddie Shore and Dit Clapper gave Ross some good depth from top to bottom.
This group of Bruins ended the regular season on an eight-game winning streak. That momentum carried over into their second Stanley Cup in team history.
5. 2008-09 (53-19-10, 116 points)
After an improbable run to the playoffs the year before, Julien and company proved that they were no fluke the following season.
In just his second year behind the Bruins bench, Julien had one of his most talented teams on display and earned the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year. Behind Thomas, Krejci, Zdeno Chara, Phil Kessel and Marc Savard (just to name a few), the B's finished first in the Eastern Conference.
Despite a disappointing exit in the second round to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games, the Black and Gold entered their name into the discussion of the NHL's elite.
4. 1929-30 (38-5-1, 77 points)
In just 44 games, the 1929-30 version of the Bruins compiled winning streaks of 10 or more games twice, including a 13-game streak from early December to early January; a record that this year's Bruins nearly broke. Cooney Weiland and Dit Clapper provided a great one-two scoring punch, while Tiny Thompson started every game between the pipes and compiled a 2.19 goals against average.
The B's advanced to the Stanley Cup Final that season where they got swept in two games by the hated Montreal Canadiens.
3. 2013-14 (53-18-8, 114 points, 79 games)
With three games left, the 2013-14 Bruins have already made their mark in team history. The accolades are quite impressive: a 15-1-1 mark in March, a month that included a 12-game winning streak, a 16-game road unbeaten streak, a stellar record against the difficult Eastern Conference, and a first place finish in the Eastern Conference.
For a team that had some turnover this season, this team hasn't missed a beat. Jarome Iginla is thriving with Lucic and Krejci on the first line, while Reilly Smith surprised The Hub of Hockey for his reliable scoring touch and the Loui Eriksson-Carl Soderberg combo gives the B's some secondary scoring. Not to forget, Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask are having the best year of their careers while Chara could very well capture his second Norris Trophy.
2. 1971-72 (54-13-11, 119 points)
After a disappointing exit in the 1971 playoffs, the Bruins came back with one thing on their mind: redemption. They did just that thanks to Orr, Esposito - who were again the top two scorers - and an impressive run in February and March that included a nine-game winning streak.
The B's carried that momentum in the playoffs where they swept the Maple Leafs in the NHL Quarterfinals followed by a five-game series win over the St. Louis Blues before dropping the Rangers in six games to win their second Stanley Cup in three years.
1. 1970-71 (57-14-7 121 points)
The collection of talent were in their primes and the Big Bad Bruins put their talent on display on a nightly basis. With 139 points and an astonishing plus/minus mark of +124 - †a record that still exists to this day - Orr electrified the crowd en route to another Hart Trophy season, while Esposito led the Black and Gold with a career high 152 points (76 goals, 76 assists) and Bucyk and Hodge each had over 100 points. The goaltending duo of Eddie Johnston and Gerry Cheevers combined for seven shutouts and the B's led every statistical category imaginable.
With the collection of legends, many of them still in their prime, its safe to say that this would have gone down as one of the greatest seasons in hockey history. Unfortunately for the Gallery Gods and the rest of the Boston Bruins, Ken Dryden and the Montreal Canadiens had other plans as they eliminated the Bruins in seven games during the NHL quarterfinals.