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Bobby Orr on D&C: Bruins ‘a better team than they were in ’11′ 06.06.13 at 9:11 am ET
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Bobby Orr

Bruins legend Bobby Orr joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday after watching Wednesday night’s thrilling Game 3 at TD Garden, a 2-1 double-overtime victory for the Bruins over the Penguins.

“This team, you go back to the Toronto series, is this the same team? What did they do? Absolutely amazing,” Orr said. “They didn’t play great against Toronto. The 10 minutes of the last game, an unbelievable comeback. They played a little better against the Rangers. But in this series, they’re playing as well now as they did in ’11. They’ve completely dominated Pittsburgh. … They’re playing their big guys against their big guys, and the Bruin guys that are supposed to score are scoring, Tuukka [Rask] has been unbelievable. I don’t know what happened. But Claude [Julien] and the coaching staff got them playing great. Very impressive. Very impressive.”

Added Orr: “This is team is playing unbelievable hockey. And people are going to say, ‘Well, Pittsburgh’s not playing very well.’ Well, the Bruins aren’t letting them play. They’re all over them, they’re not giving them any room. And when they get those chances, Tuukka’s coming up huge for that team. It’s a team effort.”

Sidney Crosby has been criticized for his lack of production in this series, but Orr said the focus instead should be on how well the Bruins are playing to shut down all the Penguins’ stars.

“I don’t agree with that at all, about him being overrated and this guy not doing da-da-da-da,” Orr said. “Let’s look at what the Bruins are doing. they’re not giving them one inch. You want to play tough? The Bruins are there. Finesse? Every player that’s supposed to — whatever the players’ strength is, that player is playing to his full strength. It’s wonderful to watch. And they’re defense, wow. Defensively they’re very, very strong.”

Gregory Campbell took a slap shot off his leg late in the second period but showed toughness by getting back to his feet and struggling to help the B’s penalty kill for almost a minute until the puck was cleared and he had a chance to get to the bench.

“What that kid did last night — I mean, they’re reporting he may have a broken leg. He obviously he was in pain, and he hung in there,” Orr said. “That’s the team. That’s the team right there. That’s what they are right now. We saw what they’re made of. This team has a ton of character. A ton of character.”

Added Orr: “What he did was incredible. Certainly it gave the team a great lift. Certainly the fans appreciated what Gregory did.”

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Read More: Bobby Orr, Claude Julien, Gregory Campbell, Sidney Crosby
Best backup goalie ever? Ross Brooks recalls 1970s stint with Bruins fondly 03.21.13 at 11:58 am ET
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PROVIDENCE — Ross Brooks keeps a photo of Bobby Orr above his desk, even in the temporary trailer office to which he’s been exiled while Providence College’s Schneider Arena is remodeled. Forty years after he first stood in goal for the Bruins as a 35-year-old rookie, Brooks hasn’t forgotten the sight of his name above a locker room stall alongside those of Orr, Phil Esposito and the rest of the storied early ’70s Bruins.

Goaltender Ross Brooks was a standout as backup for the Bruins of the mid-1970s despite not playing an NHL game until the age of 35. (Nick DeWolf)

“The biggest thing was looking around the room and seeing all those names on the seats — Esposito, [Ken] Hodge, Dallas Smith, Terry O’Reilly — you could just go around the room. And then I saw my name,” Brooks said. “And I just stared at it for a while, and you almost want to pinch yourself to make sure that it’s right.”

Brooks spent three seasons — 1972-73 to 1974-75 — with the Bruins, playing in 54 games. He posted goals-against averages of 2.64, 2.36 and 2.98, respectively, and in the ’73-74 season he tied an NHL record with 14 consecutive wins. He finished that year with a 16-3 record, serving as the backup to Gilles Gilbert.

It all happened rather suddenly. Brooks broke into the NHL at age 35 after a 12-year minor league journey that took him from Phoenix to Rochester. Despite his stellar statistics, he spent just three seasons in the league, retiring when Gerry Cheevers returned to the Bruins from the World Hockey Association.

“In hindsight, you’d wish that had happened at 21 years of age, but you know what? At least it happened,” Brooks said of his chance with the Bruins.

Despite never earning a starting job, Brooks maintained patience and a good attitude, according to Orr. The two have kept in touch over the years and still golf together from time to time.

“Sometimes, being a backup, they’re unhappy all the time and moaning and groaning, and that wasn’t Ross,” Orr said. “Ross was a great team guy. Everybody loved him, and when he was called upon to play, obviously, by his record, he played very well for us. … He’s a fun guy. He’s a jokester, and we always had a lot of fun.”

Brooks, 75, now is the arena manager at Providence College. His longest minor league stop involved seven seasons with the AHL’s Providence Reds, and with a few interruptions he’s been based there ever since. Even as a Bruin, he made the 45-minute commute from the Providence area and says he was only late for practice in Boston once.

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Bobby Orr has high hopes for Bruins in hectic season 01.09.13 at 11:23 pm ET
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Bobby Orr is “thrilled” that the NHL is coming back, but he isn’t thrilled with how long it took for the league to resolve its third straight lockout.

“I just wish it happened sooner,” Orr said at the event to announce “Turk: The Movie,” based on the life of Bruins teammate Derek Sanderson. “There are are so many people that are hurt by the lockout. People talk about who won, well nobody won. How do you win? You don’t win.

“You can’t pick winners and losers in something like this. Everybody lost. Now I just hope that players will get back to work and work hard, and I’m sure they will. It’s going to be a short season for these teams, so you have a bad start, you’re going to be in trouble, so I think we’re going to see real good hockey.”

Orr, whose agency represents Bruins forward Nathan Horton, said to “give me a team that’s better” than the Bruins this year. He expects the upcoming 48-game season to be hectic.

“This is going to be an interesting year,” he said. “You’ve got to come out of the chute. You’ve got to win real fast. You go into any long losing streaks early and you’re in trouble. I think it’s going to be a great season. I really do, because I think we’re going to see high intensity hockey and very good hockey. I think the players all know what’s at stake here.”

The league and players finally came to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement last Sunday, the 113th day of the lockout. Orr hopes that the new CBA, which lasts for 10 years with a mutual opt-out after eight years, is good enough to provide long-term labor peace and prevent another lockout at the end. In the meantime, he just hopes the league can do its best to recover over the course of this CBA.

“It’s a long term deal and we need that. Sponsors will be more comfortable doing deals with the league. Players have 50 percent of everything, so it’s a good deal for everybody,” Orr said. “Get good sponsors, have good hockey and everybody will be in good shape.”

There had been talk of the league making concessions, such as offering the Center Ice television package for free, but it’s been reported that fans will still have to pay for Center Ice. Orr has a better idea in mind for how to make it up to fans.

“Play hard and give them good hockey,” Orr said. “Hockey fans are very loyal and I’m sure they’ve missed the game as I have. … There are some that may be slow coming back, but hockey fans are very loyal and hopefully they will come back.”

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Bobby Orr on M&M: Tomas Kaberle let criticism get to him in Boston 07.06.11 at 12:07 pm ET
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Bruins legend Bobby Orr joined Mut & Merloni live from the Pinehills Golf Club for a charity golf event benefiting Mark Herzlich‘s foundation. Orr discussed the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run and offered updates on a couple of players his agency represents. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

“The Bruins have given us a lot to cheer about and talk about,” Orr said. “The heart that that team showed this year was incredible. Again, [Tim] Thomas shows that you cannot win without goaltending. This guy was incredible. If you look at that team everyone did something, someone came up one night and the next night it was someone else.”

Orr was asked about the Stanley Cup and its whereabouts. Orr noted how it is much different from when it was back when he won titles with the Bruins in 1970 and ’72.

“We didn’t get it like they do today,” he said. “We had it for the parade and that was it. I think it is wonderful. The Stanley Cup will be all over the world. I think it’s the only trophy in sports that it’s ‘The’ trophy, the others every year there is a new one. This is it. To have it all over the world, and let the kids touch it and see it. It is wonderful.”

Orr gave an injury update on forward Nathan Horton: “He’s fine,” Orr said of his client. “We really won’t know until he starts working out that will be the true test. I talked to him a few days ago and he feels great. He loves Boston, he was so excited to be in Boston. … We really won’t know until he starts working out. He has to let things settle down. He also hurt his shoulder in the Montreal series and probably shouldn’t have been playing, so he is trying to heal the shoulder and the concussion.”

On Tuesday the Bruins lost defenseman Tomas Kaberle to the Hurricanes but acquired defenseman Joe Corvo from Carolina in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2012. Orr said that Corvo is a good player who can shoot the puck.

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Read More: Bobby Orr, Joe Corvo, Nathan Horton, Tomas Kaberle
Bobby Orr on The Big Show: Claude Julien ‘wouldn’t like me’ as a player 06.10.11 at 6:52 pm ET
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Bobby Orr (AP)

Bruins legend Bobby Orr joined The Big Show show Friday afternoon to talk about the Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

Orr has enjoyed staying close with the city of Boston since retiring and being a small part of this championship run.

“There are a lot of guys that are responsible for making hockey what it is in Boston,” Orr said. “I’m happy to be part of that. To be there the other night, the atmosphere was incredible. To see how this team has come along, how they’ve put it together. All season long they’ve had their bumps, but they’ve always answered the bell.

“The fourth game, in my mind, they just dominated every part of the game. They didn’t make a mistake. They were so solid. I thought they were even better in the fourth game than the third game. I think guys like [Milan] Lucic and [Zdeno] Chara played their very best games in the fourth game. I was so happy to be part of it, to watch this team. It’s been a thrill.”

Orr said that he’s not surprised the Bruins are two games from winning the Cup.

“They’ve shown so much character,” Orr said. “It’s wonderful to watch. And if you look, they’re getting something from everybody. Horton gets hurt, [Rich] Peverley steps in. [Michael] Ryder gets one the other night. Tim Thomas has been a star all year. [Brad] Marchand, this kid is incredible. This kid has played so so well. They’re getting production from everybody. Am I surprised? No, I’m not surprised.”

Orr joked that coach Claude Julien wouldn’t appreciate his offensive-minded playing style as he doesn’t fit the coach’s reserved game plan.

“Coach wouldn’t like me,” Orr said. “I don’t think he would like me taking off all the time. I was lucky.  I played with a team that let me do my thing. I was owned by them when I was 14. If they have wanted me to change my style [they would have]. That’s the way I was most effective.”

Chara might play the same position as Orr, but he is as different a defenseman as they come. Orr spoke about Chara’s defensive abilities, as well as his length.

“Moving guys out of the way,” Orr said. “His reach. Nobody’s going to beat him on a one-on-one. He can keep it so far away from them. You’re not going to get close enough to him to get around him.”

Added Orr: “What you have to do is pick up his stick. … I have a difficult time lifting it.”

Regarding Nathan Horton, who suffered a severe concussion in Game 3, Orr said that he is progressing.

“He’s doing fine,” Orr said. “Obviously he has headaches. … Hopefully he’ll play and all the rest, but longterm health is what we’re concerned with now.”

Vancouver’s Aaron Rome delivered the illegal hit on Horton. Orr said those types of actions need to stop in the NHL.

“Certainly it was a late hit,” Orr said. “It was a high hit. It was an illegal hit. Those are the kind of hits we must get rid of. … They must get rid of those high hits. I don’t understand why the players can’t body check. … Any hits to the head, accidental or not, have to be a penalty.”

Read More: Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins, Stanley Cup Finals, The Big Show
Recap of Bruins’ Stanley Cup appearances since 1972 06.01.11 at 10:16 am ET
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The Bruins will begin their first Stanley Cup finals since 1990 Wednesday in Vancouver. Their last appearance was in 1990. Their last title came in 1972.

The Bruins have been in five Stanley Cup finals since ’72, and WEEI looks back at all of them.

1974: Bruins vs. Flyers

The Bruins finished the 1973-74 regular season first in the East Division, with Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Ken Hodge and Wayne Cashman finishing 1-2-3-4 in scoring in the NHL. They were heavily favored against the Flyers, although the Flyers finished first in the West, just a point behind the Bruins.

The Bruins won Game 1 by a 3-2 count, with both Orr and Cashman scoring a goal and recording an assist. In Game 2, the B’s led 2-0 after one period thanks to goals by Cashman and Esposito, but three third-period Flyers goals – two by center Bobby Clarke – cost the Bruins the game and home-ice advantage.

The Flyers took Games 3 and 4 at the Spectrum, holding the Bruins scoreless after the first period of both Games 3 and 4.

The Bruins protected home ice with a 5-1 Game 5 victory thanks to two goals from Orr, but in Game 6, Rick MacLeish scored his 13th goal of the postseason for a 1-0 win and the title. Goalie Bernie Parent was named MVP of the playoffs.

1977: Bruins vs. Canadiens

Although the third-seeded Bruins had won the Adams Division during the regular season, they were no match for the top-seeded, defending champion Canadiens in the 1977 finals. The Canadiens outscored the Bruins 16-6 in the four-game sweep.

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Read More: Bobby Orr, Bruins, Canucks, Phil Esposito
Andy Brickley on D&C: ‘I expect to get Tampa’s best game of this series’ 05.25.11 at 10:28 am ET
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Andy Brickley

NESN hockey analyst Andy Brickley joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to offer his views on the Eastern Conference finals. The Bruins are in Tampa for Game 6 Wednesday night, holding a 3-2 series lead. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“I think the Bruins have the edge,” Brickley said. “I guess there’s a piece of them that says, ‘Look, even if we don’t win this game, we still have Game 7. We play it on home ice. We know that we’ve beaten this team three times. We’re confident. We’re coming off a victory. We’ve shown that we’re a bigger, more physical, stronger team when we execute the way we’re supposed to play. We felt that we were a deeper more balanced team coming into this playoff series.’

“So, I think the advantage goes to Boston. They feel they have another level to their game that they haven’t reached yet. They really haven’t put together that proverbial, perfect 60 minutes. They feel that if they do that, there won’t be a Game 7.”

However, Brickley predicts there will be another game in this series Friday night. “I originally said it was going to be Boston in seven … and I’m going to stand by that,” he said. “I like Boston tonight, I think they’re going to play well. But I expect to get Tampa’s best game of this series.”

Lightning coach Guy Boucher will return Dwayne Roloson to goal after giving him a break in Game 5. Brickley said he agrees with Roloson starting. “I was more surprised that he actually played Mike Smith, to be honest with you,” Brickley said. “As well as Smith has played in this series, I felt that that trust between GM, coach and goaltender when they acquired Roloson was for this purpose, was to play the biggest games, the biggest moments. I thought last game was one, and certainly tonight is another.”

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Read More: Andy Brickley, Bobby Orr, Dwayne Roloson, Mike Smith
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