In an interview with WKXL’s Chris Ryan, three members of the 1970 Boston Bruins—John “The Chief” Bucyk, Ken Hodge, and Fred Stanfield—separately relive a magical season which ended with the Bruins winning their first Stanley Cup since 1941. The three players give remarkably similar accounts which speak volumes about how close they were as a team fifty years ago and still are. This was a team with lots of talent and some big personalities, but they took pride in working together and accepted their roles.
John Bucyk played for the Bruins from 1957 to 1977. On the Stanley Cup team, Bucyk was a high scoring left wing on the team’s second line and power play unit, and he served as team captain. Ken Hodge, Fred Stanfield, and Hall of Famer, Phil Esposito all came in a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1968. During the 1970 season, Ken Hodge scored 45 goals and tallied 45 assists playing right wing on the first line with Phil Esposito. Fred Stanfield was the center on the Bruins second line, which was considered the best second line in hockey. Stanfield also played right point on Boston’s feared power play.
Bobby Orr, who is one of the best hockey players of all time, joined the Bruins in 1666. With his speed and skill, Orr revolutionized how defenseman is played. By the 1970 season, Bucyk, Hodge, and Stanfield agree that Boston Bruins had gelled as a team and were confident that they could win it all. All three men describe that there was a feeling of togetherness which they had as a team. The fact that they enjoyed being together on and off the ice contributed to the winning attitude which the 1970 championship team developed. Everyone accepted that Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr were exceptional players; and, if their play complimented those two super stars, the Bruins would win lots of games.
All three men tell how they breezed through the regular season, and they give similar accounts of each playoff series. In each interview, the players describe how the first round with the New York Rangers was an extremely difficult matchup, but the Bruins prevailed in a six-game series. In the second round, the Bruins faced a very talented Chicago Blackhawks squad which they swept in four straight games. Boston was in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1951. They knocked off the St. Louis Blues, also in four straight.
In the final segment of the three interviews, these three hockey greats from the 1960s and 1970s were asked to compare how hockey was played in their era and how it is played today. Bucyk, Hodge, and Stanfield give an interesting analysis of the huge differences in equipment, training, and style between then and now. They also speculate about how well players from their era could adapt to the current style of play and how well the players of today would fare in the more physical style of play in 1970.