The NHL Network documentary on the 1970 Bruins ‘Big, Bad And Bobby’ that airs Sunday night at 8 PM, is a must-watch for not just those Bruins fans that grew up watching Bobby Orr lead that team to the Promised Land but any Bruins fan, as well as hockey and sports fans alike.
‘Big, Bad And Bobby’ is narrated by Dropkick Murphy’s lead singer, Weymouth, MA native, and longtime Bruins fan Ken Casey. Just as Casey’s love for the Bruins shines through in his music, it shines even brighter in this heart-warming odyssey through the evolution of a player and a team that captivated the city of Boston from the second Orr first laced them up for the Bruins and won the Calder Trophy in 1966-67. Starting all the way back to his days playing for his native Parry Sound, Ontario, through his junior days in Oshawa and rapid ascent into and up the NHL ranks, the viewer is able to truly see how Orr became the greatest player ever.
The film doesn’t just document Orr’s greatness though, it captures how that 1970 Bruins team became the team they did and arguably still the most beloved team in Boston sports at any given time. Through a roundtable wealth of insight from Orr, Phil Esposito, Gerry Cheevers, and Derek Sanderson, the player who fed Orr the pass that led to the most famous goal in hockey and one of the greatest sports photos ever. The bond between these forever teammates is still strong and so is the humble demeanor of Orr as he makes a point to credit Esposito and the trade in 1967 that netted him, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield from the Chicago Blackhawks and changed the whole complexion of the team.
“The year before I showed up here, you were in fifth place,’’ the ever-humble Orr quipped. “The year I got here, we were in sixth.”
The documentary was a mix of Casey narrating over highlights and clips outside the rink, the player roundtable and individual interview clips from actor and Worcester, MA native Denis Leary, Pro Football Hall of Famer and Charlestown, MA native Howie Long, Olympic star and Winthrop, MA native Mike Eruzione, and reporters Jackie MacMullan (ESPN) and Kevin Paul Dupont (Boston Globe) who grew up in Bedford, MA.
Segment Producer Brian Murphy grew up in Boxford, MA and while he had heard the stories about Orr and the 1970 Bruins, it wasn’t until he worked on this documentary, breaking down highlight reels, that he realized the magic of No. 4.
“I’ve always heard those stories, and it’s great to hear,” told Boston.com. “But you don’t know how true it is. And then working on the show, it came to life. I was like, ‘Oh, this is what was on back then. It’s everything they said it was. It’s not this mythic thing. It’s true. It was just popping off the screen. Watching the highlights of Bobby and cutting it together, you take a step back because you’re mesmerized watching what he can do.”
Mesmerizing and moving are two accurate words for this documentary that will leave any Bruins fan a little teary-eyed with chills of amazement. Then again isn’t that what that goal Orr scored 50 years ago Sunday and on Mother’s Day as well, does every time you see it?