By: Gayle Troiani | Follow Me on Twitter @LadyBruinsFan
Since 1924, the Bruins have enjoyed years of success in the league, including winning six Stanley Cups. Having players to cheer for, like Hall of Fame Defensemen Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque, along with future Hall of Famers Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, adds to the team’s history. Fans rallied behind bruisers like Terry O’Reilly, Stan Jonathan, PJ Stock, and goaltenders Gerry Cheevers, Byron Dafoe, Pete Peters, and Tiny Thompson. With so many players wearing the Bruins sweater over the years, which one can call themselves the best left-wing?
There are many players to choose from, like two-time Stanley Cup winner Johnny Bucyk, current elite NHL pest Brad Marchand, beast mode Milan Lucic, and the formidable Wayne Cashman. Of course, they are well known by hockey enthusiasts but let’s not forget PJ Axelsson, Don Marcotte, Ted Donato, and Randy Burridge.
Here are my Top-5:
5. Sergei Samsonov
Drafted 8th overall by Boston in the 1997 draft, Samsonov broke into the NHL that same year, scoring 22 goals and adding 25 assists in 81 games. Samsonov won the Calder Memorial Trophy beating out 1st overall pick and teammate Joe Thornton.
In eight years with the Bruins, Samsonov scored 164 goals (35 on the power play), 212 assists, and averaged 17:40 ice time. Samsonov won a Bronze medal with Russia in 2002.
4. Milan Lucic
Lucic is known for his thunderous hits that would knock opposing players into next week and not being one to back away from a challenge, but the 231 lb winger had a scoring touch when he was fully engaged in the game.
Like Samsonov, Lucic also played eight seasons with the Bruins scoring 139 goals and 203 helpers. His career-high 30 goals came in the 2010-2011 season in 79 games.
Lucic was an intricate part of the 2011 Stanely Cup-winning team scoring five goals and seven assists.
3. Wayne Cashman
Playing his entire NHL career for the Bruins, Cashman was part of Boston’s most formidable forward lines with Phil Esposito and Ken Hodge. He recorded eight 20-goal seasons in his 17 years for the black and gold.
Known as a tenacious forechecker, Cashman had four straight seasons in the 70s where he served 100-plus penalty minutes. He was a member of the 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cup-winning teams.
2. Brad Marchand
At the end of his career, Marchand could be the number one all-time left-wing in Bruins history, but opposing teams and their fans will remember him as a player they hated.
Fans may not remember that Marchand began his 2010-2011 rookie season on the fourth line, scoring 13 goals by the All-Star game. However, by the beginning of the postseason, Marchand moved from the fourth-line to the top-line, with Bergeron and Mark Recchi recording 19 points (11 goals, eight assists).
Marchand is 6th on the Bruins’ all-time goals scored with 351 and 7th in points – 795. The bonafide pest plays on the top penalty-killing unit alongside Bergeron. Marchand’s 33 short-handed goals are not only the Bruins’ all-time leader but the league’s best among active players.
Marchand currently serves as an alternate captain for the Bruins and could have a solid case to become the 21st captain when Bergeron retires.
1. Johnny Bucyk
Bucyk played 21 seasons for the Bruins serving as captain for five seasons. Bucyk was part of the Stanley Cup-winning teams of 1970 and 1972. Scoring 20 goals and 19 assists during the two postseasons.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981, the left-winger is the all-time Bruins’ leader in goals (545) and game-winning goals (88). Chief is second only to Ray Bourque in points and assists. Bourque has 1506 points, 1,111 assists, and Bucyk has 1339 and 794, respectively. Bucyk had a career-high 51 goals in the 1970-71 season.
Unfortunately, most Bruins fans today did not have the opportunity to watch Bucyk play in his prime, but he holds a significant part of Bruins history.