Boston Bruins

Ranking the 5 Greatest Goal Scorers in Boston Bruins History

Chris BlanchardContributor IIIOctober 10, 2013

Ranking the 5 Greatest Goal Scorers in Boston Bruins History

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    Phil Esposito
    Phil EspositoSteve Babineau/Getty Images

    As the Boston Bruins celebrate their 90th season, it's a great time to take a trip down memory lane. 

    Over the decades, Boston has been home to an unmatched group of legendary defensemen and some of the game's most physical players. However, plenty of elite goal scorers have donned the spoked B. 

    Here are the Bruins' five greatest goal scorers of all time.

5. Rick Middleton

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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Goals Scored: 402

    Goals Per Game: 0.46

    Winger Rick Middleton was Boston's most lethal scoring threat of the early 1980s. One of just three Bruins to score 400-plus goals, he potted 40 or more in every season from 1979-1984. 

    Middleton made an especially notable mark on special teams. He ranks fifth in franchise history with 102 power-play goals, and he leads all Bruins with 25 shorthanded strikes. 

    In 1981-82, Middleton tallied a career-high 51 goals by scoring on a league-best 25.2 percent of his shots. 

4. Ray Bourque

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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Goals Scored: 395

    Goals Per Game: 0.26

    Ray Bourque's 0.26 goals-per-game rate hardly compares to the other players on this list, but Boston's longest-serving captain simply cannot go unmentioned. 

    Bourque, of course, was a defenseman, which capped his offensive potential somewhat. However, he just so happens to be the most prolific scoring defenseman in the history of the game. 

    No. 77's 410 career goals make him the undisputed goal-scoring champ among blueliners. 

    In a career spanning more than two decades, Bourque deployed one of the game's most accurate shots. He won the accuracy shooting event at the All-Star Skills Competition eight times from 1990 to 2001, putting up perfect scores in the event twice. 

    Bourque's goal-scoring ability helped him win each of his six Norris Trophies. 

3. John Bucyk

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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Goals Scored: 545

    Goals Per Game: 0.38

    "Chief" ranks first in Bruins history with a grand total of 545 goals. His career haul of 556 ranks 25th in NHL history. 

    Overshadowed throughout the early 1970s by Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, Bucyk was a vital member of two Stanley Cup-winning teams. 

    He ranked among the NHL's top 10 scorers five times, finishing second only to Esposito in 1970-71. 

    Bucyk won the Lady Byng Trophy in 1971 and 1974 as the player who exhibited the greatest sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct in conjunction with a a high standard of play. His constant lamp-lighting had a lot to do with that. 

2. Cam Neely

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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Goals Scored: 344

    Goals Per Game: 0.66

    Cam Neely's career totals were curtailed by severe injuries, but at his peak, he was a spectacular net-finding force. 

    "Bam Bam Cam's" brilliance was best exemplified in the 1993-94 season in which he scored 50 goals in just 49 games. The winger ranked eighth in the league that season despite missing a large chunk of the campaign.

    Neely would break 50 three times as a Bruin, finishing among the league's top three scorers twice. 

    The dominant power forward led the NHL in game-winners twice and power-play tallies once. 

    Had he been blessed with as many games as Bucyk or Bourque, he could have challenged Phil Esposito as the Bruins' all-time scoring leader. 

1. Phil Esposito

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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Goals Scored: 459

    Goals Per Game:  0.73

    Phil Esposito is without a doubt the quintessential Bruins goal-scorer. On his way to the league's fifth-highest career goal total (717), Esposito led the NHL in goals six consecutive times. 

    From 1969 to 1975, no one on the planet could score like "Espo." With the help of Bobby Orr, No. 7 topped the 60-goal mark four times, notching a career-high 76 in 1970-71. 

    Esposito was the clear No. 1 scoring threat on both of Boston's championship teams in the early 1970s, and he won the Hart Trophy as league MVP twice while with the Bruins. 

    With so many scoring accolades to his name, it is almost certain that Bruins fans will never see his like again. 

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