A short history of the Bruins' 10-game win streaks

The Big, Good Bruins? If you say so, Bobby. - Sports Illustrated, April 5, 1971

"We're the Big, Good Bruins now," Bobby Orr says.

Last night, the Bruins won their 10th game in a row. It's quite the feat. The Columbus Bluejackets, for example, have never had a 10-game win streak. Per the broadcast last night, it's the 5th such streak in Bruins history. So, when did these streaks come? Let's take a stroll down institutional memory lane:

1. December 3, 1929 to January 9, 1930: 13 Wins

Coach: Art Ross
Goalie: Tiny Thompson

The 1929-30 Bruins were a thing of beauty. Art Ross coached the team to massive success, including a .875 win percentage. They went 38-5-1 on the season. This streak started during the 8th game. They were 5-2-0 and had just come off a road loss to the Chicago Black Hawks (not Blackhawks, but Black Hawks - the name has changed since) and had already accrued their one loss at home. This was the start of a 3-game homestand, and they aimed to start off on the right foot. They did that, and it extended through the next roadie, the next home stand, and another half-dozen wins. The party finally ended on January 12, 1930, when the New York Americans managed to beat the juggernaut, 3-2.

2. February 4, 1930 to March 11, 1930: 11 Wins

Coach: Art Ross
Goalie: Tiny Thompson

Less than a month after their first-ever 10+ win streak, the Bruins did it again. In the interim, they had the aforementioned loss to the Amerks. Then they won one and lost one. Then they won 5 games in a row, followed by a tie. A tie is the only thing stopping this from being a 17 win streak. The Bruins were 25-4-1 after the tie, and went ahead and blew the doors off everyone down the stretch. They'd wait 11 wins before picking up their last loss of the regular season en route to, again, the best record ever. Their luck ran out in April, however, when they eventually lost the Stanley Cup Finals to some dumb team from Montreal that nobody likes and smells real bad. Sigh.

Honorable Mention: February 26, 1939 to March 26, 1939: 8 Regular Season Wins, 3 Playoff wins

Coach: Art Ross
Goalie: Frank Brimsek

Tiny Thompson not only recorded the first goalie assist, but also presided over the first 2 10-game win streaks in franchise history. However, ten years later, his job was stolen by young upstart Frank "Mr. Zero" Brimsek, who rendered Tiny more valuable as trade bait than as a goaltender. Art Ross pried Normie Smith and $15,000 out of the Detroit Red Wings on November 28, 1938. Boston's net belonged to Brimsek alone. Brimsek didn't disappoint, either. He had 10 shutouts, and backstopped the Bruins to a rolling end-of-season ride. They won the last 8 games of the regular season, and the first three of the playoffs. Not, officially, a ten-game win streak, but they did win 11 games in a row and won the cup that year. Plus, I get to talk about real American Hero (Hockey player and WWII veteran) Frank Brimsek, and that's always fun.

3. December 5, 1970 to December 25, 1970: 10 Wins

Coach: Tom Johnson
Goalie: Gerry Cheevers (5) and Eddie Johnston (5)

Ah, the Bobby Orr-a. The Bruins were coming down off of just winning their first Stanley Cup since 1941. The Bruins looked nigh-unstoppable, and they proved it in 10 games in 3 weeks in December. In the third game of a 3-game road swing, the Bruins crawled into Montreal at 14-5-5. They had lost to Chicago and tied Buffalo, and all that stood between them and a ride home was the Montreal Forum. As Neil Young took the stage in Carnegie Hall and the ARPANET turned one year old, the Bruins took to the ice against Montreal's backup, Phil Myre. in the third, Bobby Orr apparently fought Marc Tardif. The Bruins still managed to bring home the win, and the next 9 after that. They capped it off with a win on Christmas Day, 1970.

4. February 23, 1971 to March 30, 1971: 13 Wins

Coach: Tom Johnson
Goalie: Eddie Johnston (8) and Gerry Cheevers (5)

It was...well, it was 2 months after the last one and Eddie Johnston stepped into the away net in Buffalo. Coming off a loss to the Kings, the Bruins were hoping to get into high gear to hit the playoffs running and defend the Stanley Cup. Johnston let in three that night, but the Bruins deposited 6 pucks on the other side. The next game, Johnston again let in 3 but the Bruins scored 8 goals on 60 shots. The win train kept on rolling. After a few games, Cheevers came back into the mix and the two traded off. The Bruins hit the ten-game mark in Vancouver, and eked out 3 more against Detroit and Philadelphia. In the 14th game, they lost 5-7(en) to Buffalo, sending the team on a 5-game losing streak and eventual first-round exit at the hands of rookie phenom Ken fucking Dryden. Sigh...

5. March 9, 1973 to March 28, 1973: 10 Wins

Coach: Bep Guidolin
Goalie: Jacques Plante (6), Ross Brooks (3), and Eddie Johnston (1)

Jacques Plante only played 8 games for the Bruins in the 1972-73 season, a late pickup (March 3rd) from Toronto. We got Jacques Plante's last ride in the NHL (7-1 in 8 regular season and 0-2 in the playoffs) and a third in return for our first round pick (Ian Turnbull) and future considerations. Eddie Johnston, who had gotten the lion's share of the starts, wasn't as good as he used to be. It's not a huge surprise that the hall-of-fame goaltender stepped into the net and rattled off a bunch of wins. After all, this team had won the cup just the year before. Eddie Johnston played one game in the streak, and 35-year-old rookie Ross Brooks - a Milt Schmidt signing - had 3 of his career 37 wins (37-7-6 career NHL record!) in the stretch. The Bruins lost the last 2 games of the season and managed 1 win between 3 goalies in 5 games in the playoffs against the New York Rangers.

And then Jeremy Jacobs bought the team in 1975. Bobby Orr never played a full season again. The Bruins didn't really do well. Until...

6. December 12, 2008 to January 1, 2009: 10 Wins

Coach: Claude Julien
Goalies: Tim Thomas (5) and Manny Fernandez (5)

The Bruins rolled into Atlanta as part of a short SouthLeast division swing. They had ruined a 5-game win streak with a loss to the Capitals, and were ready to feast on the Atlanta Thrashers, in the first game of a home-and-home. And feast they did, winning 7-3. The next night, the team's rematched. This was the night that Boris Valabik had to fight his idol and hero, fellow Slovakian defenseman Zdeno Chara:

He didn't want any, but you don't mess with Phil Kessel if you don't want Chara to get in your face. RIP Atlanta Thrashers. The rest of the streak was against relatively weak teams, but wins 9 and 10 were against eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Marc Savard assisted on a Martin St. Pierre short-handed goal against Pittsburgh.

The next game, P.J. Axelsson scored a powerplay goal assisted by Dennis Wideman and Marc Savard. Excuse me, we're all going to collectively need a minute.

7. November 1, 2011 to November 23, 2011: 10 Wins

Coach: Claude Julien
Goalies: Tim Thomas (7) and Tuukka Rask (3)

The Bruins had just won the cup the year before, as you may remember. They face Montreal for the first time since in a home and home. The Bruins lost both games, and the "maybe the Bruins will pick with the top 2 picks" craze was at its height. The Bruins came home from their trip to Montreal with a 3-game losing streak. Convinced they could do better, they, uh...well, they did. They rattled off 10 wins, only needing 2 shootout wins to do it. Right in the middle, there was a Jordan Caron goal, assisted by Zach Hamill. Then they lost 1 shootout, and won the next 4. But this is about win streaks. And this was 10 wins in a row. 10-0-0 in the L10 column. And it was a heck of a lot of fun, to boot. If only they hadn't lost in the first round to Washington...sigh...

8. March 2, 2014 to Present: 10 Wins and Counting

Coach: Claude Julien
Goalies: Tuukka Rask (6) and Chad Johnson (4)

This streak has a lot of delightful things in it. The second win was Tim Thomas's last game in a Florida Panthers uniform. The 5th win was Roberto Luongo's 2nd game in a Panthers uniform for the second go-round. Andrej Meszaros, aka the Warlock, and Corey Potter, the boy wizard, both had their first games in Bruins uniforms during this era as well. The trade deadline was fun this year. The 9th win was the first Bruins win at home against Minnesota. Jarome Iginla tied John "Chief" Bucyk for 25th all-time highest goal-scoring total, and also had his 1300th NHL game. Mike Smith won the SBNation GIF Tournament V for his "buttgoal" at the same time as he was losing to the Bruins (sadly, sans buttgoal). Jordan Caron took 10 minutes of minor penalties in only 3 games. It's quite a time to be alive.

The Bruins put their current streak on the line tonight against Colorado. They need 4 more wins to make it the longest streak ever. Here are those 4 games:

Think they can do it?

Special thanks to Dave Benvenuti for his help researching this post.

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