The initial second-round matchups began Tuesday with the top four defensemen advancing to their semi-final matchups by considerable margins. Now we quickly transition into the eight remaining Bruins’ wingers who look to join Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, Zdeno Chara and Eddie Shore in the Round of 16.
Here’s a deeper dive into the Round 2 winger matchups.
Johnny Bucyk vs. Terry O’Reilly
Chief vs. Taz. Two former captains take center stage in the first of these intriguing winger matchups.
Bucyk remains the franchise’s leading goal-scorer after hanging up the skates in 1978. Someone eventually may surpass Bucyk’s 545 career lamplighters, but it’s hard to imagine anyone surpassing O’Reilly’s 2095 career penalty minutes especially with the league pushing a more skill-oriented product in today’s game.
Both Bucyk and O’Reilly providedlegendary moments during their illustrious careers. Their names live on in Bruins lore as both the No. 9 and No. 24 hang above the TD Garden rafters.
Ken Hodge vs. Rick Middleton
I could watch highlights all day of these two providing clutch and ‘nifty’ moments.
Hodge’s dynamic skillset complimented Phil Esposito and Wayne Cashman into a record-breaking line in the 1970-71 season. Esposito, Hodge, Bucyk and Bobby Orr each finished in the top four in scoring during that faithful season, which surprisingly ended in the Stanley Cup semifinals against Ken Dryden and the hated Canadiens.
The Bruins sent Hodge to the Rangers in 1976, reuniting with Esposito a few months after a franchise-altering trade with Middleton, Jean Ratelle and Brad Park coming over from New York.
Middleton developed into one of the stellar two-way players of his era. His 19 points in Boston’s thrilling seven-game triumph in the Adams Division Final over the Sabres remains the most all-time in league history for a single postseason series.
Nifty’s No. 16 finally earned its place atop the rafters in 2018. Hodge relinquished his No. 8, which also sits above the ice surface on Causeway Street in honor of another name on this list, Cam Neely. If only the Bruins could find a little extra room for Hodge’s No. 8 banner. Someday.
Brad Marchand vs. Dit Clapper
Marchand and Clapper’s matchup provides one of the bigger generation gaps in the Round of 32. Considering that, it’s no surprise to see the early voting lopsided in favor of Marchand.
The Kraut line consisting of Clapper, Milt Schmidt and Woody Dumart sparked the Bruins to a pair of Stanley Cup victories in 1939 and 1941. Marchand formed a dynamic duo with Bergeron during his rookie season in 2010-11. David Pastrnak joined the Marchand-Bergeron tandem to form one of the top trios in the league a few years ago.
Both Marchand and Clapper were key cogs in their championship runs. Clapper earned his spot in the second-ever Hockey Hall of Fame Class all the way back in 1947. Marchand, even with his reputation, may very well grace the hallowed halls in Toronto once his career is over.
Cam Neely vs. David Pastrnak
The COVID-19 outbreak robbed Bruins fans of the remnants of an eventful 2019-20 campaign. They were on the cusp of something special if you ask me, but there may be time to salvage the season.
Yet, the postponement of the 2019-20 regular season prevented Bruins fans from watching David Pastrnak eclipse the 50-goal mark for the first time in his career. The Czech was a mere two goals away from becoming the franchise’s first 50-goal scorer since Cam Neely accomplished that feat in a remarkable 44 games in 1993-94.
Neely’s bruising style of play couldn’t differ anymore from Pastrnak’s creative playmaking. But the two share an interesting link with one another despite the stark differences in their skillsets.
For all the things Pastrnak already accomplished in his first six seasons, his best days are certainly ahead of him. The elite 23-year-old playmaker already jumped up the ranks among the Bruins’ all-time wingers. His ascension into the upper-echelon of the franchises best may have to wait a little bit though given Neely’s impressive track record during his 10 years in Boston.
We’ll be back tomorrow to break down the four goaltending matchups for Round 2. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @BruinsDaily to vote on those upcoming showdowns, including a 4 vs. 12 matchup between Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak.
Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.
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