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Bruins want to party like it's 1929


The Boston Bruins are looking to achieve the same goal as the 1928-29: win the Stanley Cup. That year the Bruins defeated the New York Rangers 2-0 in a best of 3 series to win their first Stanley Cup. The series marked the first time that the Stanley Cup Finals involved two American teams. While the game of hockey has changed dramatically over the course of the last 80 years, there are some striking similarities between the '08-'09 team and the '28-'29 squad.

Both teams finished with the best regular season record in their division or conference

'28-'29: The '28-'29 team finished the year with a record of 26-13-5, good enough for a first place finish in the American Division.

'08-'09: This year's team finished the regular season with a record of 53-19-10, the best in the Eastern Conference.

Both teams swept the Montreal Canadiens in the first round

'28-'29: The way that the playoffs worked that year was that the team with the best  record in the American Division played the team with the best record in the Canadien Division in the first round with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals. The two second place finishers played each and the two third place teams played each other as well. The winners of the 2 vs. 2 and 3 vs. 3 series faced off to see who would play the winner of the 1 vs. 1 series.The Bruins won the best of 5 series against the Habs in 3 games.

'08-'09: The Bruins swept the #8 seed Montreal Canadiens in 4 games.

Both teams had a goaltender with the initials T.T. who made a name for himself

'28-'29: 25 year old rookie Cecil "Tiny" Thompson played every game in goal for the Bruins in '28-'29. Thompson led the league with 26 wins and had the second best GAA at 1.15. While the NHL was still a low scoring league (NHL total goals per game average: 2.92), Thompson's numbers are still impressive. Thompson only allowed 3 goals in 5 playoffs games.

'08-'09: Tim Thomas led the NHL in GAA (2.10) and save % (.933) and is one of the finalists for the Vezina Trophy.

'08-'09 - Tim Thomas 54 3259 36 11 7 4 114 2.10 1694 1580 .933 5

'28-'29 -Tiny Thompson
44 2710 26 13 5 - 52 1.15 -
- - 12

Both teams played defense-first style

'28-'29: The NHL changed its rules prior to the start of the '28-'29 season in order to create more offense by allowing players to make forward passes in the offensive zone. Despite this new rule, the Bruins were able to improve in their own end of the rink during the '28-'29 season. The B's had given up 89 goals in 44 games the previous season and gave up only 52 goals  in '28-'29. Interestingly, goals per game league-wide plummeted in '28-'29. Average goals per game went from 3.80 during the '27-'28 season to 2.92 in '28-'29. Most hockey historians credit the strong goaltending throughout the league for this sharp decline in offense.

'08-'09: Like most Claude Julien coached teams, the Bruins play with the philosophy that solid defense will create offense. The Bruins won the Jennings Trophy this season for allowing the fewest goals against (196).

Both teams had a dominant defenseman

'28-'29: Hall of Famer Eddie Shore patrolled the blue line for the B's during the '28-'29 season. Shore by all accounts was a physical defenseman, who could also jump up into the play. Shore scored 12 goals that year (an astronomical figure for a defenseman at the time) to go along with 7 assists and 96 PIMs.

'08-'09: Zdeno Chara has develop into one of the most feared defensemen in the NHL. The imposing 6'9" 255 lb defenseman finished the regular season with 50 points (19-31-50) and is a finalist for the Norris Trophy.

G A P +/- PIM
'08-'09 - Zdeno Chara 19 31 50 23 95

G A P +/- PIM
'28-'29 - Eddie Shore
12 7 19 N/A 96

'28-'29 '08-'09
Reg. Season Record 26-13-5 53-19-10
Head Coach Cy Denneny (player/coach) Claude Julien
Leading Goal Scorer Harry Oliver (17 goals) Phil Kessel (36 goals)
Starting Goalie Tiny Thompson Tim Thomas
Most PIMs Eddie Shore (96 PIMs) Milan Lucic (136 PIMs)
Biggest Player Dit Clapper (6'2" 195 lbs) Zdeno Chara (6'9" 255 lbs)
Youngest Player Lloyd Klein (19) Milan Lucic (20)
Oldest Player Cy Denneny (37) Mark Recchi (40)
GAA 1.18 2.39
GFA 2.02 3.34
Home Rink Boston Garden (1st season) TD Banknorth Garden
Owner Charles Adams Jeremy Jacobs
General Manager Art Ross Peter Chiarelli