Bruins

Who are the best left wings in Bruins history? Ranking the Top 10

Who are the best left wings in Bruins history? Ranking the Top 10

It’s only in somewhat recent eras that the Bruins have enjoyed truly dominant left wings, including Hall of Fame legend Johnny Bucyk, elite NHL agitator Brad Marchand and the indefatigable Wayne Cashman as he played through multiple eras in Boston.

But there are some fun names on the list of Top 10 Bruins left wingers in franchise history -- a list that features a couple of old school wingers, and a few fan favorites with guys like Randy Burridge and Milan Lucic.

The only regret is that P.J. Axelsson came up just short of making this list.

Here’s the all-time Top 10 list of left wings in Boston Bruins history:  

10. Ed Sandford

A legendary Bruins player that still to this day works with the NHL off-ice officiating crew at TD Garden at the ripe old age of 91 years old, Sandford played eight years with the Bruins while finishing his Boston career with 94 goals and 230 points in 442 games during the 1950’s.

Sandford was an All-Star in 1953-54 with 16 goals and 47 points in 70 games and was a beast in the 1952-53 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a whopping eight goals and 11 points in 11 playoff games. He’s been an excellent ambassador for the Bruins during a life well-lived in the Boston area since his playing days, but Sandford was also a heck of a Bruins player back in the day.

9. Randy Burridge

It was only a six-year run for Stump in Boston, but Randy Burridge made a big impression during his time with the Black and Gold. The feisty left winger finished with 108 goals and 223 points in 359 games in Boston, with his best season of 31 goals and 61 points coming in 1988-89.

Burridge got All-Star votes and Selke votes in separate seasons for the Bruins, but it was more about him being a valuable cog in some pretty excellent Bruins teams in the late 1980’s which came just short of winning the Cup. The 5-foot-9, 188-pound Burridge was eventually traded to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Steve Leach.

8. Ted Donato

Donato played for many teams throughout his NHL career, but the Boston native’s best years came for the Bruins organization that drafted him out of Catholic Memorial High School in 1987. Donato finished with 119 goals and 266 points in 528 games over the course of nine years and finished with 25 goals and 51 points during his best NHL season in 1996-97.

One of the clearest memories with Donato was him coming out of Harvard University late in the 1991-92 regular season and becoming a factor for the Bruins in that year’s playoff run when he posted three goals and seven points in 15 games. Donato came full circle and retired with the B’s following the 2003-04 regular season when he played with a fresh-faced 18-year-old rookie named Patrice Bergeron.

7. Sergei Samsonov

It might be easy to forget how good Sergei Samsonov was for the Bruins after he petered out later in his NHL career, but the 1997 first-round pick was a dynamic winger for the Bruins. Samsonov teamed with Jumbo Joe Thornton as a pair of excellent young players and it was the Russian left winger who won the Calder Trophy his rookie season while posting 164 goals and 376 points in 514 games over an eight-year stretch in Boston.

Samsonov’s best season was 29 goals and 75 points in 2000-01 for the Bruins before he was eventually traded for Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and a second-round pick which eventually turned into Milan Lucic.

6. Milan Lucic 

A player who will always be associated with the Bruins no matter where he goes, the power forward played like a prototypical Bruins player during his time in Black and Gold. The bruising, tough Lucic won a Cup in 2011, reached 30 goals and 62 points during that Cup-winning season and was a fearsome player that nobody wanted to drop the gloves with after his first couple of seasons in the league.

Lucic finished with 139 goals and 342 points in 566 games along with 772 penalty minutes in eight seasons for the Black and Gold. Lucic was a beast on the second line with David Krejci and Nathan Horton during Boston’s best years, and they won’t soon be forgotten.

5. Don Marcotte 

Perhaps one of the most underrated Bruins players of all-time, Marcotte finished with 230 goals and 484 points in 868 games over a 15-year career played all for the Bruins. Marcotte won Cups with the Bobby Orr Era teams in the early 1970’s and finished as a Selke Trophy finalist in a pair of seasons in the late 1970’s as an impressive two-way player.

Marcotte topped out at 31 goals and 64 points in 1974-75, but it was more about being a 200-foot player who helped win games for the B’s throughout a 1970’s decade that was a pretty good one for Boston.

4. Woody Dumart

The left winger on the “Kraut Line”, Dumart finished with 211 goals and 430 points in 774 games all played for the Bruins over a 16-year career. Dumart won two Stanley Cups, was a three-time All-Star and a Hockey Hall of Famer while topping out at 24 goals and 52 points in 60 games for the Bruins during the 1946-47 season.

His numbers might not have been dominant given the era that he played in, but there’s no doubt that Dumart was the best left wing to play for the Bruins until guys like Johnny Bucyk and Wayne Cashman came around.

3. Wayne Cashman

The Bruins left winger finished his career fifth all-time in games played, nine in goals scored and seventh in points while playing exclusively for the Black and Gold during his 17-year career. Cashman’s best season was 30 goals and 89 points in 1973-74 while winning two Stanley Cups and earning one NHL All-Star honor during a lengthy career that predated Bobby Orr and lasted all the way until 1983 when he was playing for his former teammate Gerry Cheevers.

The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Cashman was never the best player on any Bruins team he played for throughout his excellent career, but he was a very good B’s player for a very, very long time.

2. Brad Marchand

Marchand should have at least another five good seasons left in him at the NHL level, and is already among the best left wingers to ever suit up for the B's. The Little Ball of Hate is already seventh all-time on the Bruins list with a career 290 goals scored and ranks in the top-10 with 646 points in his NHL career.

The fact he’s done all of that in just 751 games makes it clear Marchand is going to be near the top of these lists when it’s all said and done. Marchand has been the left wing on the NHL’s best line for three years running, won a Stanley Cup in his rookie season and is a two-time All-Star while being good enough to finish in the top-5 in Hart Trophy voting. He’s known for his antics on the ice, but he’s also one of the best ever to put on a Bruins uniform.

1. Johnny Bucyk 

The Bruins' all-time leader in goals with 545 career scores and a Hall of Famer who played an amazing 21 years in Boston. The Chief was an institution during multiple eras of the Bruins while winning a couple of Cups during the Bobby Orr Era, and a couple of Lady Byng Trophies. In his prime, he posted 51 goals and 116 points in the 1970-71 season.

Bucyk spanned the eras of playing for the legendary Milt Schmidt in the mid-1950’s all the way to end of the Lunch Pail AC crew in the late 1970’s and is one of only six players to ever play more than 1,000 games in a B’s uniform. The only one who played more was Ray Bourque.

Who are the Top 10 NHL players from Massachusetts?

Who are the Top 10 NHL players from Massachusetts?

There’s a strong tradition of hockey in the state of Massachusetts, and not so surprisingly there is also no shortage of standout NHL players from this state.

A great deal of those talented players arrived in the years since Bobby Orr first came to town in Black and Gold and brought with him a hockey rink boom all over the Commonwealth, so there’s no coincidence to the timing of it all.

Another non-shocker: The greatest generation of Massachusetts hockey players continues to be the 1990’s when Jeremy Roenick, Keith Tkachuk and Tony Amonte along with Bill Guerin grew into dominant forces of talent at the NHL level. There may never such a concentration of star NHL players from Massachusetts all playing at the same time.

There were older pioneers and standouts, of course, like St. John’s Prep phenom Bobby Carpenter, one of the few high-level elite Massachusetts guys that laced up for the B's, and Acton-Boxborough’s Tom Barrasso on those Stanley Cup teams in Pittsburgh. Here’s a list of the top-10 all-time NHL players born in Massachusetts with apologies to Scott Young, Mike Milbury, Cory Schneider, Tom Poti, Tom Fitzgerald, Chris Nilan, Shawn McEachern and Jay Pandolfo for not quite making the cut.

Canadiens in the playoffs? Tony Marinaro calls that 'the stupidest thing I've ever heard'

Canadiens in the playoffs? Tony Marinaro calls that 'the stupidest thing I've ever heard'

The one clear benefit of the play-in round for this summer’s Stanley Cup playoff conclusion to the 2019-20 campaign is it gives new life to hockey clubs otherwise out of it with a month to go in the regular season.

The biggest beneficiary of that new postseason life is undoubtedly the Montreal Canadiens, who had the lowest point total (71) of any of the 24 teams that will qualify for the play-in round. The Habs were a bad team playing out the string that’s now been thrown a life preserver due to the unforeseen circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Montreal is scheduled to play the fifth-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins once the postseason format begins and will face an uphill battle against a healthy, rested group that still features Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and is just a few seasons removed from back-to-back Stanley Cup titles. One would expect that Canadiens fans, media and anyone interested in the Bleu, Blanc and Rouge would be looking for reasons to justify their newfangled postseason presence.

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But TSN 690 radio host Tony Marinaro wasn’t having any of that sunshine Habs talk during a recent NBC Sports Boston Zoom call with myself and Boston Sports Now’s James Murphy when asked about Montreal’s new life.

“The station I work for TSN 690 is the official partner of the Montreal Canadiens. We air Montreal Canadiens on our radio station. This is great for the Montreal Canadiens. It’s great for the fans. It’s great for the radio station that I work for. It’s great for me and it’s great for my show,” said an animated Marinaro. “Now, personally how do I feel about it? I think it’s stupid. [This is] a team that lost eight in a row at one point, and on another occasion lost another eight in a row. On another occasion lost five in a row.

“On another occasion lost three in a row and finished with 31 wins and 40 losses. [They] have a chance at a play-in to get into the actual playoffs? I think it’s the stupidest thing that I’ve ever heard in my life. These are exceptional times that call for exceptional measures. There are a lot of things that I don’t agree with. I think I speak for all of us that we all want hockey back and that the National Hockey League would want to have as many markets involved, in the mix, as possible to try and generate as much interest as possible, and to try and generate as much of the lost revenue as possible. I’m at a point where I just want sports back. As I much as I think it’s stupid, I want sports back more than I think it’s stupid if that makes sense.”

It certainly should make sense to anybody and everybody that loves, and right now misses, the NHL.

The hapless Canadiens were 10 points out of a playoff spot when the NHL regular season went on pause, haven’t made the postseason in back-to-back years, and will have not won a playoff series in five years when they eventually suit up against the Penguins this summer. Despite all of this, they might have a fighting chance with a rested, healthy Carey Price in a short series against a Penguins group coming off a long break.

A win by the Habs in the play-in could even eventually set up a playoff series between the Bruins and the Canadiens. Selfishly, who wouldn’t want to see Claude Julien and his Canadiens match up with the Black and Gold in a playoff series that could help rekindle a rivalry that’s been on life support over the last few seasons?

All that being said, it’s going to be tough to feel like low-seeded play-in teams like the Canadiens actually deserve a regular Stanley Cup playoff berth given so many critical voices viewing skepticism at the 24-team postseason format set up by the NHL.