Pretty hard to say they were just a contract or two away from closing the gap on those Oiler and Penguin teams, even if they finished ahead of them in the regular season standings. Late 70s, though, you couldn't replace guys on that Bruins team with a star addition or two and make it enough better that it would have out-talented the Shabs. They played the crap out of the Shabs in the late-70s - I really think they were the only team that could have stopped that run - but they just couldn't finish them. In between those two eras when the Bruins were second best, I don't know what they could have done to outshine the Islanders and Oilers. Even the 'Lames would have been very hard to beat in the mid to late 80s. Posted by Bookboy007
Real good points as Harry already raided the Rangers so he wasn't going to rest Trottier/Bossy away from the Islanders in the late 70s to help Boston against that vaunted Habs juggernaut. Most GMs were probably pretty wary of Harry dumping veterans for the Middleton's and Park's of the NHL by late 70s.
In 83' the Bruins win the Presidents Cup but Potvin, Gilles n company are waiting in the Prince of Wales conference finals. In 1989-1990 Harry gets permission to go n get Bobby Carpenter, Poulin, Christian and Propp still not enough to beat the Oil.
From 95' to 07' I can't make any excuses for JJ...