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1970 Bruins 50 Years Later: Sinden’s Coaching Gut Helped Lead To ‘The Goal’



With the 50th anniversary of ‘The Goal’ and the 1970 Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup next Sunday – fittingly on Mother’s Day just as it was on May 10, 1970 when hall of famer Bobby Orr flew through the air after scoring the overtime and Stanley Cup winner – the Bruins are honoring the most celebrated team in franchise history this week. Here’s the first in a series of pieces you can expect here at Boston Hockey Now as we approach the big day Sunday: 

Speaking to the media in a Zoom conference call Monday, former Boston Bruins Head Coach, General Manager, and President Harry Sinden recalled what led to him putting center Derek Sanderson and the third line out to start overtime against the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final instead of one of the top two lines centered by Phil Espositio and Fred Stanfield respectively. 

“Great lines like Esposito’s line and the Stanfield line, if there is a fault to them it’s that once in a while, they will get overexcited and take chances and take risks and I think that was going on with me at the time,” Sinden said. “I would prefer a line that would make sure, or try and make sure, the other team didn’t score. I wanted to play a line that would make sure they didn’t score and the longer the game went the better chance we had.”

Sinden was rewarded for listening to his coaching gut and the rest is history as 40 seconds into the extra frame, Sanderson would connect with Orr on a give-and-go and Orr did the rest, getting between Blues defenseman Noel Picard and goalie Glenn Hall and then beating Hall for the most famous goal in NHL history. Thanks to the great photography work of Record American photographer Ray Lussier, who caught the moment perfectly, that moment is instilled in the hearts and minds of not just Bruins fans and New England sports fans but the entire sports world as it became one of the most famous sports photos ever and as of last year, was the most autographed. 

Thanks to having a perfect view from the bench though, Sinden simply calls on his photogenic hockey memory to relive one of the greatest moments in his hockey career. 

“Fortunately, because I had a good look at it, I can actually recall it any time I want and I’ve recalled it a million times in my head,” said Sinden. 

Sanderson will be holding a Zoom season ticket holder town hall Tuesday, Johnny Bucyk will speak with the media Wednesday and Gerry Cheevers will hold a season ticket holder town hall on Thursday.

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