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The 5 Biggest Hitters in Boston Bruins History

Chris BlanchardContributor IIIDecember 24, 2012

The 5 Biggest Hitters in Boston Bruins History

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    The Boston Bruins have always had a special affinity for good old-fashioned pugilism. For decades, some of the National Hockey League's most brutal bashers have called Beantown their home. 

    The Big Bad Bruins have hammered their way to six Stanley Cup championships, leaving countless rivals writhing in agony along the way. 

    Lets take a look at the Bruins' five biggest hitters of all-time: 

5. Leo Boivin

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    Hall of Fame defenseman Leo Boivin is far from the typical NHL bone crusher, but the former Bruins captain made the most of his tiny frame to deliver some devastating blows. 

    Especially pain-inducing in open ice, Boivin ranks tenth on NHL.com columnist John Kreiser's list of hockey's all-time biggest hitters. Kreiser had the following to say about him: 

    "It's hard to imagine a player like Boivin as a defenseman in this day and age—he was all of 5-foot-7 and no more than 185 pounds during a career that extended from 1951-70, and his nickname, "Fireplug," said it all. But when it came to body checking, Boivin was a giant. He was known for his explosive hits that broke up rushes—and he almost always came away with the puck."

    The deceptively destructive defender helped to establish Boston's Big Bad reputation in the 1950s. 

4. Milan Lucic

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    Since joining the Boston Bruins as a teenager in 2007, power forward Milan Lucic has been regarded as one of the most fearsome players in the league. Number 17 has delivered thousands of bruises on behalf of the black and gold. 

    The 24-year-old was voted the NHL's ninth hardest active hitter in a SI.com players poll

    Lucic's violent forechecking and excellent shot made him Boston's goal scoring leader in the 2010-11 season, which ended with a Stanley Cup Championship. Lucic's pugilism has helped to revive the Bruins physical reputation, while simultaneously bringing renewed success to the franchise. 

3. Eddie Shore

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    One of the greatest defensemen of all time, Eddie Shore won two Stanley Cups and two Hart Trophies with the Bruins from 1926 to 1940. The Hall of Famer also built a reputation as one of the NHL's most violent players. 

    In his second NHL season (1927-28), Shore set a then-NHL record for penalty minutes in a season with 165. 

    The tough as nails blue-liner ranks sixth in Bruins history with 1,038 minutes logged in the sin bin. The original Big Bad Bruin built the foundation of Boston's reputation for physicality and excellence. 

2. Cam Neely

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    High scoring power forward Cam Neely had a nasty streak throughout his 10 seasons in Boston. The Hall of Famer, nicknamed "Bam Bam Cam," struck fear into the heart of many an opposing player. 

    NHL.com's John Kreiser ranks Neely as the fourth biggest hitter in hockey history and describes him as follows: 

    "Neely's approach to hockey was simple—head for the net and flatten anyone who got in his way. That's how he scored 395 goals in just 726 regular-season games, most of them (344 in 525 games) for the Boston Bruins. But he was no stranger to the penalty box, either—he had 117 or more penalty minutes six times and was just as comfortable driving a shoulder into an opponent as putting the puck in the net."

    Neely won the Stanley Cup as President of the Boston Bruins in 2011, but will always be remembered for his explosive hits as a player. 

1. Zdeno Chara

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    The Bruins' 6'9" captain is one of the biggest NHL players of all-time. The Slovakian defenseman uses every ounce of his enormous frame to deliver monstrous hits. 

    The 2009 Norris Trophy winner packs a punch unmatched by any other active player, and was voted the No. 1 hardest hitter in the National Hockey League in an SI.com player poll.

    According to Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins, "He's just a physically imposing figure out there. You get the puck and you see him and sometimes you can't see the rest of the rink because he's that big."

    When the 35-year-old Chara finally walks away from the game, he will be regarded as one of the biggest hitters of all time. 

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