‘The Goal’ to stand forever outside TD Garden
|05.10.10 at 3:17 pm ET|
It is funny how the 40th anniversary season of the Bruins 1970 Stanley Cup Championship has worked out. Every time the team has planned to bring back the luminaries from that team — Bobby Orr, Derek Sanderson, Johnny Bucyk — the Bruins were about to play their biggest game of the season.
The first time the Bruins brought back the alumni was for an on-ice celebration of the 1970 team on March 18 — the day awaited by Bruins fans as the day that the team could get back at Matt Cooke and the Pittsburgh Penguins for Cooke’s hit on center Marc Savard that gave him a Grade 2 concussion and almost immediately elicited a change in NHL rules regarding hits to the head from behind. Orr and company were gracious to Cooke and the Bruins amidst a stretch where Boston was not playing its best hockey and Bruins fans were clamoring for blood. The game registered NESN’s highest regular season rating for a Bruins game in history.
On Monday the Bruins unveiled a statue at the west entrance to TD Garden of Orr’s “The Goal” — the game-winner that won the 1970 Stanley Cup Championship over St. Louis. It just so happens that the Bruins once again are playing their biggest game of the season — Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Flyers with a chance to clinch the series and move to the conference finals.
“The Broad Street Bullies? I have a lot of memories of playing against them,” Orr said. “That was a tough team, a hard working team. They were well coached with Freddy Shero, Bernie Parent in goal. All-star goalie. They had skill, they had top defensemen. Even their tougher guys could play the game.”
In a ceremony to unveil the statue the associated Bruins alum were present along with other Boston personalities such as Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz as well as the team’s owner Jeremy Jacobs and Jacob Wentzell, President of TD Garden.
The statue looks almost implausible as it stands with Orr flying through the air with no support for the bronze, is 110 percent life size and was sculpted by Harry Weber.
“It is cantilevered, which just means that means that it is sticking out from that one toe,” Weber said of the construction. “The reason we were able to do that is that stainless steal goes all the way down from the base of the ground up through that spray of ice, all the way through his foot, all the way through him, all the way up to the stick. It is like a giant jungle gym all the way up through the statue otherwise bronze wouldn’t carry the weight.”
After the ceremony Jacobs was asked about Orr’s departure from the Bruins, which has caused the owner’s name to have been dragged through the mud since he purchased the team in 1975. Orr left the Bruins despite a lucrative contract offer from the team after agent Alan Eagleson allegedly told the star defenseman that the Chicago Blackhawks had a better deal. Jacobs was mum, as he has been for the last 35 years, on the specifics that led one of the greatest hockey players of all time away from Boston.
“I am not going there. That was back then. If I knew what I know now then it would have been a different story,” Jacobs said. “It was a snapshot in a time warp. I was young, he was young. It just didn’t unfold the way it should have. He came back here, maybe not as a player, but he came back here as a personality that is so important to this whole community. Let’s face it, it didn’t happen like it should have. He had issues, a young man following a dream and his advisors and it didn’t work out. But that was then.”