By: Mike Sullivan | Follow me on Twitter: @_MikeSullivan
There it is! We’re at 31 days until the Boston Bruins face off against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals for their regular season opener. During this countdown, we’ve been blessed with guys like Patrice Bergeron (37), Shane Hnidy (34), David Krejci (46), and other notable players. 31 was a number that 20 different players wore in Boston Bruins franchise history. However, one guy that stood out the most and more people should know about is Mr. Doug Keans.
Doug Keans’ professional career started in 1979 with the Los Angeles Kings. He spent four seasons on the west coast before entering Boston in 1983. Now, he doesn’t compare to goalies that Bruins fans hold dear to their hearts, and he’s honestly not even a player you think of when reminiscing on old Bruins’ seasons.
The Ontario native spent nine full seasons in the National Hockey League. In an era dominated by offense, you’d expect a goalie to have less eye-popping numbers than what we’re typically used to seeing. Instead, as we see in Keans’ case, he sported a career .874 save percentage and a 3.51 goals against average. Oof.
Doug Keans stood at 5’8″ and weighing in at 182 pounds. As a goalie, size matters. It’s remarkable that as a goaltender under 5’10”, he was able to make a career from his craft. Despite the odds being against him. He would make flashy saves, was acrobatic in the net, and would play the puck very well. Now, I won’t lie and say I’ve seen him play before because my existence wasn’t even a thought while he played for the Black and Gold. I’m basing this solely on his HockeyDB and YouTube highlights I was able to scavenge.
It’s difficult to stand alone as a player when the organization as a whole has had a plethora of highly talented and beloved goalies throughout its history. When peaking at Boston’s goaltending alumni, it’s no wonder Keans is an afterthought. When asking a fan to name some Bruins’ goalies, I’d be shocked if someone said Doug Keans. I would expect more people to answer with the big three: the prominent three being Tim Thomas, Gerry Cheevers, and Tuukka Rask. You’ll even throw out a Tiny Thompson if you’re a real die-hard Boston fan. Shoutout Tiny.
In the years that Keans played for Boston, they never won a Stanley Cup, but they did make the playoffs every year. Sounds pretty familiar if you ask me. Doug Keans will never go down as a legendary netminder for the Boston Bruins, but he will most definitely be remembered as a goaltender who was a part of some very successful Boston Bruin teams.
We’re almost there, everybody. We’re so close I can practically hear the Garden rocking again. Pre-season kicks off on September 24th against the Philadelphia Flyers. With that beginning soon, we should see some younger guys playing, and we can talk about relevant topics! The dog days are almost over, folks. So bundle up and get ready for that cold chill in the air, signaling the beginning of hockey season. 31 days. Let’s go!