The 5 Boston Bruins Records That Will Be Most Difficult to Break
With the Boston Bruins' 90th season set to begin in just a few weeks, it's a perfect time to look back at their long history.
A number of legendary players have worn the spoked-B, and a select few of them have been immortalized by jaw-dropping numbers.
Records are made to be broken, but some don't fall without a fight. A few Bruins greats can rest easy knowing that their records probably won't ever fall.
Here are the Boston Bruins' five most unbreakable records.
5. Terry O'Reilly's 2,095 Career Penalty Minutes
No one did more to establish the identity of the Big Bad Bruins than Terry O'Reilly. The former B's captain spent more than 2,000 minutes in the sin bin from 1971 to 1985. To put that in perspective, 2,095 minutes is equal to nearly 35 complete games.
NBC broadcaster Mike Milbury sits second all time among Bruins, but even he trails O'Reilly by 543 minutes.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, 36, is the active leader in penalty box visits, but he would need to nearly quadruple his total to match O'Reilly's record.
4. Ray Bourque's 1,518 Career Games Played
Raymond Bourque set his fair share of NHL records as a member of the Boston Bruins, and he took his time doing it. On his way to becoming the NHL's all-time leader in points by a defenseman, he donned a black-and-gold sweater 1,518 times.
Bourque ranks ninth all time in NHL games played, and it is highly unlikely any Bruins player will ever again provide 21 years of comparable service to the club.
Current Bruin Patrice Bergeron will have a chance, albeit a slim one. The Bruins' alternate captain debuted as a teenager, and the 28-year-old center could tie Bourque's mark with roughly 11.5 more healthy seasons. If he plays until his early 40s, that is possible, but two lockouts have severely hurt Bergeron's odds.
It is far more likely Bourque will hold on to this one for a very long time.
3. Ray Bourque's 1,111 Career Assists
Photo courtesy of The Boston Globe
Bourque didn't get into the Hall of Fame just for showing up to work every day. On the ice, he was the best offensive defenseman of all time not named Bobby Orr.
Bourque's career assist total ranks fourth in NHL history. Only Wayne Gretzky, Ron Francis and Mark Messier set up more goals.
No. 77 owns the Bruins' all-time assist mark by a healthy margin of 317 helpers.
Patrice Bergeron is the Bruins' active leader with a humble 258 passing points. Supposing Bergeron plays the 939 games necessary to match Bourque's appearance record, he will need to average nearly .91 assists per game to tie the record.
That's not gonna happen...
2. Phil Esposito's 152 Single-Season Points
Between two Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1971, Phil Esposito produced one of the greatest offensive seasons in the history of the game.
"Espo" won the Art Ross Trophy with 152 points. The Hall of Fame center also led the league with 76 goals.
In the 21st century, 152-point seasons are only plausible in EA Sports' NHL series.
The last Bruin to finish a season with more than half of Esposito's 1971 total was Marc Savard in 2009.
Unless the NHL reverts back to a more free-scoring style, this record will never fall.
Ironically, Esposito's dominant campaign was not enough to net him the second Hart Trophy of his career, because that award went to Esposito's teammate, Bobby Orr.
5. Bobby Orr's Plus-124 Regular-Season Rating
Thanks in large part to Esposito's scoring exploits in 1970-71, Bobby Orr was able to register the best plus-minus rating in NHL history.
The dazzling defenseman put up career highs in assists (102) and points (139) en route to the record.
Orr's defensive partner Dallas Smith finished with a remarkable plus-94 rating that continues to rank fourth all time.
With individuals setting records left and right, the Bruins won a team-record 57 games.
Unfortunately for Orr and company, rookie Ken Dryden and the Montreal Canadiens shut down the Bruins in the playoffs, keeping them from winning the second title in a potential three-peat.
The Bruins currently employ a few elite plus-minus players, but that doesn't mean this record is within reach. Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara have each led the NHL in plus-minus in the past three seasons, but neither player earned a rating better than plus-36.
Orr's plus-124 would require not only a player of his caliber but also a team capable of total domination at both ends of the ice. Don't expect this NHL record to ever be challenged.