Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr was selected for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame 40 years ago today

Bobby Orr was selected for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame 40 years ago today

Today isn't just Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. It's also an important date in Boston Bruins history.

On June 12th, 1979 -- 40 years ago to the day -- Bobby Orr was selected for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. As pointed out by the Team Canada 1972 Twitter account, Orr made it in just a few months after the end of his playing career, as the Hall of Fame waived the three-year waiting period for him.

Orr is widely considered to be the greatest defenseman in NHL history. In 10 seasons with the Bruins, he logged 888 points and a ridiculous plus/minus of plus-574. He led the league in assists five times, had six consecutive 100-point seasons (leading the league in the category twice), and led the league in plus/minus six different times, including an NHL-record plus-124 during the 1970-71 season.

So, it's easy to why the Hockey Hall of Fame wanted him in sooner rather than later.

Perhaps this is a good omen for the Bruins. After all, it was Orr who scored the iconic game-winning overtime goal against the St. Louis Blues when these two teams met in the 1970 Stanley Cup. Maybe the Bruins will be able to honor the anniversary of his induction to the Hall of Fame with another iconic win over the Blues to bring the Stanley Cup to Boston for the first time since 2011.

Re-live the Bruins' Stanley Cup run to date>>>

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Bruins redecorate the visitors' locker room in St. Louis for a little motivation

Bruins redecorate the visitors' locker room in St. Louis for a little motivation

It seems the Bruins have already done a little redecorating in the visitors' locker room at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

Framed photos of Zdeno Chara hoisting the Stanley Cup in 2011 and Bobby Orr swigging champagne from it in '72, as well as another of David Krejci smooching Lord Stanley's trophy eight years ago,  now adorn the walls of the room.

The images were captured by the NBC Sports Boston Camera Guys who tweeted the video that features Charlie Coyle and David Pastrnak talking about the motivation the photos provide. 

The Bruins look to take a 2-1 series lead tonight in Game 3, the first Stanley Cup Final game played in St. Louis since Orr's crew swept the Blues back in '70.

“Just little reminders of what it could be like, what’s here for us, what’s at stake, and the great opportunity in front of us,” Coyle said. “Always catch yourself looking around and just, kind of, taking it in. It’s a really good touch.”

Said Pastrnak: "It's what you've worked for your whole life."

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Torey Krug: It's 'pretty ridiculous' hit is being compared to Flying Bobby Orr

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File photo

Torey Krug: It's 'pretty ridiculous' hit is being compared to Flying Bobby Orr

BOSTON – Torey Krug is flattered at all of the positive chatter about his “Flying Torey” hit from Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, and the Bruins D-man certainly hopes it’s something that people will remember about this matchup between Boston and St. Louis.

But he also had a word for those comparing his helmet-less flying body check on Robert Thomas to the legendry Flying Bobby Orr goal scored to clinch the 1970 Stanley Cup Final for the Bruins: “Ridiculous.”

“It’s pretty ridiculous,” said a laughing Krug. “I can’t even come up with words. I think it’s ridiculous. Hopefully it turns out to be something we remember for a long time.

“It’s taken off. I’m not on social media right now, but I have a lot of friends and family members that are on social media. It’s taken off and it’s pretty cool for sure. But it’s eyes on the prize right now.”

Certainly the sequence of David Perron sitting on Krug and ripping off his helmet behind the play leading up to Krug demolishing Thomas, after racing up the ice, will be an iconic play in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final no matter what happens. It’s sparked a debate about whether or not it was a charging penalty (hint: it wasn’t with Krug gliding the last 15 feet into the hit), and certainly it could be looked at as the early turning point to the entire series if the Bruins roll over the Blues in four or five games after decisively throwing the first proverbial punch.

But it also wasn’t a game-winning goal to clinch a Stanley Cup title like Orr’s flying heroics were in 1970, now immortalized in a statue right outside TD Garden. There has been plenty of revisiting the Orr moment given that both the Bruins and Blues are facing off again in the Stanley Cup Final, and that is still going to be the NHL’s most iconic image in the history of the game when it’s all said and done.

“I would be lying if I said I watched that game. I was five I think. When I got traded here, obviously growing up watching in Canada you see a lot of Montreal, Toronto, Boston, New York,” said Cam Neely, when asked about it prior to the start of the Cup Final vs. St. Louis. “Those are the teams you generally watched, but coming here in ’86 was really the first time I was like ‘Wow this is quite an organization.’

“There are so many great players that have played here, and a lot of really good things have happened. Not necessarily all just in the playoffs, but a lot of really good things have happened by a lot of very talented players. I can’t count how many times we’ve all seen Bobby score that goal and fly through the air, but just to be a part of this organization is pretty special.”

Certainly the Flying Torey hit will have its place in both Bruins lore and Stanley Cup Final lore going forward, but it’s going to take something pretty damn special to match the Flying Bobby Orr moment that will live on forever. 

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