Type to search

  • The Bruins history of too many men remains fresh in 2024 playoffs

    Tim Rosenthal May 9, 2024

    SUNRISE, Fla. — The Boston Bruins celebrated their centennial season in 2023-24. Amid all the illustrious highlights of their first 100 seasons, however, a handful of lowlights still haunt a passionate fanbase.

    And one, in particular, has lasted for nearly half a decade.

    May 10, 1979.

    Friday marks the 45th anniversary of arguably the most notable too many men penalty in NHL history.

    The Don Cherry-led Lunch Pail A.C. Bruins had the hated Canadiens on the ropes at the old Montreal Forum in Game 7 of the 1979 Stanley Cup semifinals. But the legendary Habs found new life after the Bruins regained the lead late in the third on Rick Middleton‘s tally.

    The Bruins, who relinquished a two-goal lead earlier in the final frame, were just 3:59 away from advancing to the Cup Final. But then came the most infamous too many men penalty in franchise history. The late Guy Lafleur notched Montreal’s second tying marker during that power play attempt, ultimately setting the scene for Yvon Lambert’s series clincher. The blunder extended the Canadiens’ dynasty and ended Cherry’s coaching tenure in Boston. 

    Thirty-one years later, the Bruins endured another ill-timed too many men infraction in Game 7 against the Flyers, this time on Garden ice. Simon Gagne promptly put the finishing touches on Philadelphia’s 3-0 comeback — in the series and the game — to deliver another painful chapter in Bruins history.

    Fast forward 14 years later, and, well, the Bruins still can’t shake off that too many men legacy.

    Amid a sloppy night of turnovers, defensive mishaps and a third period slugfest, Boston committed its fifth too many men infraction of the 2024 playoffs during its ugly 6-1 loss to the Florida Panthers in Game 2.

    Having grown up in Montreal, second-year Bruins coach Jim Montgomery received a firsthand account of that too many men call from the legendary Forum. After Wednesday’s tilt, he took full responsibility for the ongoing troubling trend.

    “It falls on me in the end,” Montgomery said. “We know of the people who’s up [in the lineup], and they’re making mistakes. So my clarity on who’s up is obviously failing our team.”

    The miscommunications during line changes and personnel rotations fall directly on the coaching staff. As if that’s not concerning enough, the other 15 playoff teams only received four too many men calls combined.

    But Montgomery and the coaching staff have plenty of chances ahead to halt the seemingly never-ending parade of bench minors. After all, the last thing they need is a similar result to that ill-famed moment in Bruins history exactly 16,437 days ago.

    Death, taxes and the Bruins committing a too-many-men penalty in the playoffs indeed. But at least they know that Ken Dryden and those iconic Habs of the 70’s aren’t coming through that door.

    Facebook Comments
    Tim Rosenthal

    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.


    You Might also Like

    Leave a Comment