On Monday, the Bruins will unveil a monument honoring and depicting "The Goal," Bobby Orr’s Stanley Cup-clinching goal scored on Mother’s Day, May 10, 1970. The monument will depict Orr’s likeness flying through the air just after scoring the team’s biggest goal and crowning moment.
Of course, if you played hockey or are simply a fan, chances are that you may not have a monument of your own but you have that famous picture — and if you’re lucky enough, No. 4 signed it for you.
The current Bruins squad can’t win a Stanley Cup in Game 5 Monday night like that 1970 team, but they can help celebrate the anniversary by inching one step closer and advancing to the Eastern Conference finals with a win over the Flyers.
Following practice on Sunday, some of the Bruins took time to discuss the meaning of "The Goal" — not only as part of the Bruins family, but as a fan of the game.
"As a Canadian growing up and even here of course, I’d say that one out of every three 'man-cave' basements has that picture up on the wall," forward Shawn Thornton said with a laugh. "Even if you were not a Bruins fan growing up but you were just a fan of the game, you knew about that picture and that moment. So that’s pretty awesome that they’re doing that. I’ve gotten to meet him a few times over the last few years and he’s such a great guy. I’m pretty happy and I’m I am glad he’s getting a statue. Good for him."
Veteran forward Mark Recchi is the only Bruins player that was alive for Orr’s momentous goal, and while he doesn’t remember watching that moment, he has his own Bobby Orr memory and actually received a signed photo of the famous picture as a wedding gift.
"Oh yeah, probably one of the best gifts I ever got," said Recchi, who with nine points in this playoffs is doing his best to help the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup since Orr and the 1972 Bruins beat the Rangers for the organization’s fifth Cup championship.
"Everyone knows that picture, but my best Orr memory was when I met him after a game at the old Boston Garden. He came up, introduced himself and said he was a fan of my game. That was amazing and I’ll never forget it. He’s just such a class act and did and still does so much for the game and charities. He deserves this honor."
On the other end of the age spectrum on the Bruins' roster is Brad Marchand, who just happens to be born on May 11 and will celebrate his 20th birthday Tuesday. Despite his young age, Marchand still knows the significance of "The Goal."
"I’ve seen that picture a thousand times and it’s one of the most famous goals not only here but in Canada and in sports,” said the Nova Scotia native. “It only seems fit that he scored it being such an icon, and you never get sick of watching it. To be playing for the same team is so cool, and to have this celebration the day before my birthday is pretty cool."
Defenseman Johnny Boychuk said he doesn’t actually have a copy of the picture because "they [cost] a lot of money." But Boychuk joked that he will hopefully have that money this summer when as a restricted free agent, he will be up for a pay raise.
"It’s the one goal in Boston history that will stand out forever, that’s for sure," Boychuk said. "I want to see that statue and maybe get a picture with it."
Boychuk actually had a better plan, like maybe reenacting the magical goal in Game 5.
"How about doing the same goal, that would be great," Boychuk asked with a smile. "Scoring that goal, now that would be great."
Defenseman Mark Stuart grew up in Minnesota but as he pointed out, it doesn't matter where your hockey roots started: Everyone knows about that Mother's Day in 1970 and will always be in awe of Orr flying through the air after the goal.
"It’s a big part of our history. Every kid grew up seeing that goal and seeing that picture of him flying through the air," said Stuart. "It’s a huge part of Boston history and a huge part of hockey history as a whole."
That's why it would be nice if the Bruins could cap the big day at the TD Garden off with a win and trip to the conference finals for the first time since 1992.
"It’d be pretty special," said Stuart. "We’re going to try and do it for him."