Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 02/13/07 at 08:33 AM ET
from Kevin Dupont of the Boston Globe:
The last half-century skipped by at a pretty good clip, John Bucyk will tell you, and from a hockey perspective, he has his plaque in the Hall of Fame and his name etched on the Stanley Cup twice (1970, ‘72) as the engraved, undeniable proof of the good times, the best times.
The Bruins owned the city in his heyday, and the stocky, granite-hipped Bucyk was always the quiet, hard-working, kind-hearted mayor who maintained a balance in the dressing room. A link then to the club’s hard-luck days of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, he delivered his points—and his devastating hip checks—with a coal miner’s demeanor and discipline. When the good times finally arrived, he helped to manage the egos within, and likewise helped deliver a common touch to a city enthralled with, if not delirious over, what was perhaps Boston’s most endearing team of the 20th century.
“We had a lot of bleak years from 1960 to 1967,” the Chief recalled Saturday, reminiscing inside the Bruins Alumni suite on the ninth floor of the Garden, prior to the club’s faceoff against the Islanders. “We never even made the playoffs. Then after Bobby [Orr] came, you could see the wheel turn a little bit, and Milt [Schmidt] made the trade, picking up Espo [Phil Esposito], [Ken] Hodge, and [Fred] Stanfield. You could see it turning a little more, and eventually, it did—and then the fun came back.”
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