63-37-88: Place among Bruins' Greatest Lines

tmracht

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Man that's a tough one, all-around? I'm struggling to think of any.
 

Ale Xander

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Hasn't been a better one in my lifetime.


What's 2nd best in the last 35 years?

whoever else-Oates-Neely? Juneau I guess.
 

Salem's Lot

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It has to be the best.
Hard to compare eras but the Kraut line was pretty good. Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer, and Woody Dumart averaged .8 points per game over the 7 seasons they played together, while playing elite defense like this line does. Esposito, Cashman, and Hodge were great as well.
 

GeminiFish

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I recall a line of Samsonov-Allison-Guerin, not up to the Bergeron line's talents, but still a fun line to watch. And besides Oates-Neely-whoever there was also Janney-Neely.
 

BaseballJones

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Since the Bruins have had some GREAT lines and teams in their history, and this is almost certainly the best overall line...maybe we could also ask where this line stacks up to the all-time great lines in league history? Clearly not the top, maybe not even the top 20. I dunno. But it is a great great group. They play both offense and defense at very high levels.
 

mwonow

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I thought of 7-8-12, but don't recall their defensive prowess
I think Cashman, Hodge and Espo is at the top - in 71/72, they had 132 goals, 290 points (and 292 PIMs) and a Stanley Cup. That's pretty hard to top, but hey, there's still hardware to be awarded this year
 

DJnVa

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I think Cashman, Hodge and Espo is at the top - in 71/72, they had 132 goals, 290 points (and 292 PIMs) and a Stanley Cup. That's pretty hard to top, but hey, there's still hardware to be awarded this year
They were awesome obviously, but had the GOAT skating around with them as well. Opponents had no answer when they were all on the ice.
 

mwonow

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They were awesome obviously, but had the GOAT skating around with them as well. Opponents had no answer when they were all on the ice.
Yep - I saw something recently about Espo setting the NHL record for scoring and finishing second for MVP on his own team
 

lexrageorge

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Cashman was the Marchand of his line, although Marchand is the better skater and scorer, and the bigger (for his time) Cashman was probably the better defensive player.

Pasta is a better sniper and two-way player than Hodge.

Esposito could score goals even without that Other Guy on the blue line; he led all players in both goals and points in the epic 1972 Summit Series. But at his best he was slightly above average defensively, and was a liability towards the end of his Bruins tenure. Bergeron is regularly in the running for the Selke, and is the glue that makes that line run.
 

mwonow

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Cashman was the Marchand of his line, although Marchand is the better skater and scorer, and the bigger (for his time) Cashman was probably the better defensive player.

Pasta is a better sniper and two-way player than Hodge.

Esposito could score goals even without that Other Guy on the blue line; he led all players in both goals and points in the epic 1972 Summit Series. But at his best he was slightly above average defensively, and was a liability towards the end of his Bruins tenure. Bergeron is regularly in the running for the Selke, and is the glue that makes that line run.
That's fair - Bergeron is the shut-down guy defensively; IIRC, that was Marcotte (maybe Westfall too, before he left?) on the 70s Bs
 

Saints Rest

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83-84 season saw Barry Pederson centering for Middleton and (I think) Mike Krushelnyski. They had 116 (BP), 105 (RM), and 45 (MK) in points. 22.3 Point Shares combined. Middleton finished 2nd for Byng, 4th for Hart and 4th for Selke. Pederson finished 12th for Hart and 10th for Selke. Both made the ASG. All three played on the penalty kill and Power play.
 

Reardons Beard

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I can think of no line that matches the offense, defense, and impact of these three in all phases of the game. Including PP, PK, shoot out. We are watching something special in Boston Bruins history.
 

reggiecleveland

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Esposito could score goals even without that Other Guy on the blue line; he led all players in both goals and points in the epic 1972 Summit Series. But at his best he was slightly above average defensively, and was a liability towards the end of his Bruins tenure. Bergeron is regularly in the running for the Selke, and is the glue that makes that line run.
My reaction to anybody saying Espo wasn't the best player.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb-fxkqPTm4



Espo was the best player in the world whenever Orr was hurt, which was often. He was an incredible competitor and leader.This line may be better overall but no way peak Espo wasn't the best player of all players being discussed.

I know 1980 is near and dear to the USA fan, but what the 72 team did in Moscow is one of the great accomplishments in all of sports history and Espo was the best player in that series.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFKvB3Wnzgk
 

mwonow

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My reaction to anybody saying Espo wasn't the best player.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb-fxkqPTm4



Espo was the best player in the world whenever Orr was hurt, which was often. He was an incredible competitor and leader.This line may be better overall but no way peak Espo wasn't the best player of all players being discussed.

I know 1980 is near and dear to the USA fan, but what the 72 team did in Moscow is one of the great accomplishments in all of sports history and Espo was the best player in that series.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFKvB3Wnzgk
Agree on all counts, and thanks for posting. And he was definitely THE MAN in the #1 international hockey series.
 

ColdSoxPack

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Great series. Espo was great. The Russians screwed Canada by playing the series in September, when Canada was not in great game shape. The officiating in Russia made today's ref's look perfect.

P.S. It was horseshit that only NHL players could be on Team Canada.
 
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RoDaddy

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Hard to compare eras but the Kraut line was pretty good. Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer, and Woody Dumart averaged .8 points per game over the 7 seasons they played together, while playing elite defense like this line does. Esposito, Cashman, and Hodge were great as well.
Yeah, I'd pick these two lines 1a and 1b as the B's best ever. The Kraut line famously finished 1-2-3 in league scoring one year (39-40) so can't beat that when comparing eras. Hodge/Espo/Cashman in their prime were not only great great offensively, but Cash and Hodge were terrific in the corners and could fight in an era where that was important. In fact, the B's second line during those Cup years (Chief Bucyk, Pie McKenzie and Fred Standfield) was also excellent - wish we had them this year

The 78-79 McNab (35 goals), O'Really (26) and Wensink (28 believe it or not) line was memorable too because they were also so big and tough. Cherry used to say the B's would win games before the puck was dropped to start the game because some teams were so intimidated by them just standing there as the first line

As to the subject of this thread, Pasta/Marchand/Bergy are great but I'm not sure I'd call them great "all round"? Bergy for sure but not so much the other two
 

SoFloSoxFan

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As to the subject of this thread, Pasta/Marchand/Bergy are great but I'm not sure I'd call them great "all round"? Bergy for sure but not so much the other two
I'm not the guy to go in depth with numbers, but sufficed to say I don't agree with the idea that the line as a whole is not great all around. The league has changed a little in the last 40-80 years.
 

reggiecleveland

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Hodge/Espo/Cashman in their prime were not only great great offensively, but Cash and Hodge were terrific in the corners and could fight in an era where that was important.
Cashman was one of the power forwards of his day. In the same Summit series the only win in Canada was credited to his physical play in game 2. In fact the Russians complained so much about Cashman they threatened to not play if Canada dressed him again.

More on the Boris Mikhailov sucks, diving when Cash went after him when the Russian club team played the Bruins. Certainly shows the ear when a two handed chop with the stick is a "check".
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZnF99sYea8


As for Hodge, I was at this game Yes I saw Orr play.
The King went after Orr, well into his fragile knee stage, and it was Hodge who immediately stepped in, getting tossed. A young O'reilly came in at the same time. Mid 70s hockey, I remember the LAPD being down by gate when Hodge refused to leave, and O'reilly winning his fight, then getting away from the linesman and circling back for a few more shots. I may be wrong but I remember Bucyck being with Espo that game.

Trivia Bobby Schmautz scored on the powerplay from Orr. My dad had just told 9 year old me fighting was bad, and my mom remarked that it was funny he said that . Years later I learned a young Schmautz (probably a teen, getting paid as a ringer in a sr league) objected to my mom cheering for the other team and actually hit her with his stick over the boards. My Dad around 15 years older than Schmautz dropped the gloves beat him down, apparently to the approval of both teams.
 

lexrageorge

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IIRC, didn't Cashman miss the Moscow games because of the stick check he received courtesy of a Swedish player that lacerated his tongue?
 

RoDaddy

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I loved Cash. Obviously a major contributor to one of the best lines to ever play, tough as nails, could score himself, and eventually became the B’s captain. Plus his wack personality was a lot of fun, like the time he got pulled in for drunk driving and ordered Chinese food with the one call he was allowed
 

Zososoxfan

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I never even pretend to know or remember as much about the Broons as the people here. But looking back at some rosters, the 01-02 Bruins had Samsonov, Thornton, Guerin, Rolston, and Murray. Those guys poured in the goals that season:

Guerin - 41G, 25A
Murray - 35, 25
Rolston - 31, 31
Samsonov - 29, 41
Thornton - 22, 46

I don't know how to look up line combos though, so not sure what would even be the comparison. The Kessel years also featured him with some great centers, but the LWs from those years weren't up to these standards.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Building off this... which 2010+ Bruins get their numbers raised to the rafters? 37 and 33 for sure. 63 and 88 [if they maintain their pace[]? 40? I love 46, but I don't think he is number retirement worthy. Did I miss anyone?
 

kenneycb

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Thomas has a better chance than Tuukka at this point. 2 to 1 in Vezina’s, starter for a Cup winner, and a historic playoff performance that was capped by a Conn Smythe and a Game 7 SO.
 

Salem's Lot

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Building off this... which 2010+ Bruins get their numbers raised to the rafters? 37 and 33 for sure. 63 and 88 [if they maintain their pace[]? 40? I love 46, but I don't think he is number retirement worthy. Did I miss anyone?
33 and 37 are locks. Anyone else it will matter if they win another one. There are many great players that have played for this organization that don’t have retired numbers.
 

cshea

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Krejci is in for me. He’ll likely hit 1,00+ games played with the team and 700+ points. 103 points in 132 playoff games and counting as well, which is tied for 2nd in franchise history with Bergeron. He’s overshadowed since he’s overlapped with most of Bergy’s career, but I think he belongs. Top 10 in franchise history in points, top 5 in assists, led the playoffs in scoring twice. No additional hardware is really all that’s working against him.

I’d put Rask and probably Thomas up there too. Rask is going to be the franchise leader in just about every goalie category. Thomas doesn’t have the longevity but his peak was unmatched.
 

lexrageorge

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33 and 37 are locks for the HoF and similarly will see their numbers retired. I would be OK with 46 and 63 being retired, even though neither are probably Hall of Famers. Rask needs a Cup on his resume to get his number sown in the rafters, IMO.
 

Red Right Ankle

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Quibble but he has a Cup. It was just as a backup. I know what you mean though, so it’s just me being pedantic.
And he wasn't exactly a benchwarmer that season either. Thomas only having to start 55 games might have helped him sustain his play through the playoffs.
 

Dummy Hoy

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As to the subject of this thread, Pasta/Marchand/Bergy are great but I'm not sure I'd call them great "all round"? Bergy for sure but not so much the other two
Marchand is one of the best PKers in the league, I think one of the better forecheckers, and he works his sack off in the defensive end. Pasta has shown huge improvement in his 200 foot game as well, though he's not on the level of the other two. Of course they can't score quite like him...
 

Red Right Ankle

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At any rate, Bergeron, Chara, maybe Thomas and Marchand get retired. Krejci has been very good and probably deserves it, but it feels like he is overshadowed by Bergeron's skill and Marchand's skill and personality. If he plays out the string with the Bs, maybe.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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At any rate, Bergeron, Chara, maybe Thomas and Marchand get retired. Krejci has been very good and probably deserves it, but it feels like he is overshadowed by Bergeron's skill and Marchand's skill and personality. If he plays out the string with the Bs, maybe.
Curious (legit, not internet trolling curious) about Thomas over Rask. Is it just the 1 cup? Rask will end up as the all-time leader in wins/ games played, Save % (>82 games played) (...and second in points) . Tiny Thompson has GAA (> 82 games) with Rask second there.
 

Red Right Ankle

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Curious (legit, not internet trolling curious) about Thomas over Rask. Is it just the 1 cup? Rask will end up as the all-time leader in wins/ games played, Save % (>82 games played) (...and second in points) . Tiny Thompson has GAA (> 82 games) with Rask second there.
Thomas was such a goddamned legend in that win, but he also is a great story, a memorable style and an excellent, if short, career. He won two Vezinas in just 8 full seasons!

Rask doesn't have that signature capstone (plus 1 fewer Vezina... so far) and I do think that hurts. You're right that from a regular season stats standpoint if Thomas is in, Rask should be. Guy was huge in two Cup runs, even if neither was successful. And might be huge in another one this year.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Thomas was such a goddamned legend in that win, but he also is a great story, a memorable style and an excellent, if short, career. He won two Vezinas in just 8 full seasons!

Rask doesn't have that signature capstone (plus 1 fewer Vezina... so far) and I do think that hurts. You're right that from a regular season stats standpoint if Thomas is in, Rask should be. Guy was huge in two Cup runs, even if neither was successful. And might be huge in another one this year.
Building on that... I think the Rags->Riches story of Thomas helps. And maybe his flashy saves (due to his style--- Ellsbury vs JBJ? ). I have no issue with either of them being up there... I don't want to come across as Anti Thomas . Thanks for the good faith response.
 

veritas

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I think it’s Rask over Thomas but I’m in the minority. Rask is a likely hall of famer (IMO) and Thomas is definitely not one. It’s funny how much the one cup makes a difference to Boston fans, I think the rest of the league would say “wtf?” if we retired Thomas over Rask. Rask’s career is clearly superior.
 

ColdSoxPack

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Per today's Globe, Espo, Hodge, and Cashman will be in the Garden with the rest of the 1970 Bruins for the 50th anniversary of the Cup on March 24. I hope they wear their vintage 1970 black jerseys with the gold shoulder pads with no names on the back. Espo is still pissed about being traded.
 

ColdSoxPack

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I think it’s Rask over Thomas but I’m in the minority. Rask is a likely hall of famer (IMO) and Thomas is definitely not one. It’s funny how much the one cup makes a difference to Boston fans, I think the rest of the league would say “wtf?” if we retired Thomas over Rask. Rask’s career is clearly superior.
I agree with this take, but the Bruins do not win the cup without Thomas.