Today in Hockey History: Phil Esposito Powers Boston Bruins

Phil Esposito

During the NHL’s hiatus, we at the Last Word on Hockey are going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for April 8th, featuring Phil Esposito.

Today in Hockey History

Phil Esposito Leads Bruins Barrage



1970: The Boston Bruins forward scores three goals and doles out two assists in a Game 1 quarterfinal final. Boston would score five goals in 10:21 and two shorthanded goals in 44 seconds. The Bruins would rout the New York Rangers 8-2 on their way to a four games to two series win.

Esposito and the Bruins would win the Stanley Cup to be the first American team to do so since 1961. Boston would sweep the St. Louis Blues in four straight with Bobby Orr‘s iconic overtime-goal.

Other Notable Events

1961: Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings sets a post-season record for assists with 61. Howe has two helpers in the Wings’ 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

1971: The Montreal Canadiens rally from four goals down to beat Boston, 7-5, in Game 2 of the quarterfinals. Henri Richards goal starts the Habs’ rally to even the series.

1973: Ed Giacomin gets only playoff shutout in a 33-save effort in the Rangers 4-0 win over the Bruins in Game 4 of the quarterfinals.

1980: Howe makes the post-season for the 20th year in the Hartford Whalers 6-1 loss to the Canadiens.

1982: Mikko Leinonen sets a record with six assists in the Rangers’ 7-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. New York evens the Patrick Division semifinal series at one.

Dale Hawerchuk supplies four assists as the Winnipeg Jets win their first playoff game in club history. Winnipeg beats St. Louis 5-2 in Game 2 of the Norris Division semi series.

1996: The Jets unveil their new logo and will go by the Phoenix Coyotes after they relocate to Arizona for the next season.

2000: Toronto cracks 100 points in a season for the first time in a 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Leafs are the last Original Six team to reach that milestone.

2014: Mike Babcock becomes the winningest coach in Red Wings’ history with his 414th victory. Detroit beats the Buffalo Sabres, 4-2, as Babcock passes Jack Adams.

Happy Birthday to You

1960: Dave Richter

1993: Viktor Arvidsson

1995: J.T. Compher