Inside the NHL Network’s documentary on Bobby Orr and the 1970 Bruins

'It’s not this mythic thing. It’s true,' producer Brian Murphy says of the inspiration for 'The 1970 Bruins: Big, Bad & Bobby.'

General manager Milt Schmidt, assistant GM Tom Johnson, Bobby Orr, and coach Harry Sinden of the 1970 champions Bruins.
General manager Milt Schmidt, assistant GM Tom Johnson, Bobby Orr, and coach Harry Sinden of the 1970 champions Bruins. –The Boston Globe

If you were around 50 years ago and of proper age to recognize that you were witnessing something special, surely you didn’t need to be told when the impossibly charismatic Big Bad Bruins were playing their next game on television.

You planned for it, making sure the rabbit ears on the new color Magnavox were adjusted just so and the Channel 38 reception came in as crisply as possible. Sometimes a well-placed wrap of tinfoil dished out a welcome assist.

That way, you’d have the beautiful visual of Bobby Orr weaving his magic in perfect synchronization with the words of play-by-play voice Don Earle (and later Fred Cusick, who returned to the television role for the 1971-72 champs) on the must-see broadcasts.

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The Bruins were must-see then; their Sunday games typically drew a 25 share in the Boston market, meaning 25 percent of the televisions in use at the time were tuned to the game.

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