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52597Re: Boston Bruins outcoached?

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  • nybos1974
    Jul 7, 2009
      Coaching may not have played much of a role with the Bruins. For my book "The Rangers, The Bruins, And the End of an Era" I spoke to Ed Westfall and asked him about Tom Johnson. Here is part of what he said.

      "Tom, he was a wonderful guy and his wife Doris is a sweetheart but he was miscast as a coach. I think we were in Chicago and it was late it the season. We'd won the Cup in '70, we blew it, well, with Dryden and all that and Jean Beliveau's double-overtime goal or whatever in the 7th, whatever it was. Anyway. And we knew that we screwed that up. We were a bunch of party guys, we were swashbucklers or whatever you wanted to say. We were never overconfident but we liked to party. When the game was over, on the road in particular, everybody showed up. We all showed up, had our beverages, we usually put five bucks in the hat, ordered draft beer, had burgers, you know. And we all talked about, you know, hockey.

      "But then it started to drift a little bit. And so I remember once we were in Chicago and it was late in the season and we were all sitting around talking about, 'cause most of us were around for the '70 Cup, and it just kind of snowballed. Somebody had said something and I don't, I can't be specific but it was so much fun winning the Stanley Cup and we said let's win it again. We got to win it again, no matter what. Bullshit to anything else, it's up to us, the players. And this kind of reverberated around with the beers and the burgers and the peanuts on the floor and all the shit that we were in, in Chicago, I'm pretty sure. And we decided right then and there no matter what and I don't mean to demean Tom Johnson but he didn't count, we count. And we're going to win the Cup again. And everybody bought in, a little bit like the three Musketeers, you know, kind of thing. And we said we're going to remind each other, every game all the way, along the way, for whatever's left, there wasn't much left in the season. That we're going to win the Cup no matter what. And we just, and I think that mantra, that theme, that thing reverberated all the time. Somebody would remind, remember? Come on, we're going to, yep, yep, okay. Yep, yep. And it really did. There's no reason for me to remember that other than that it happened. "

      So you can see that the players took on their winning attitude on their own. Fred Stanfield added this.

      "Tommy was very quiet, didn't have to say very much because the team, when he got behind the bench and started coaching, the team was already matured and he had a set team, pretty much. So it was kind of a nice position to be in. If I was coaching, I'd love to have a team like that. [laughter] Tom was good, he liked the players. He did a nice job with us. He took us and we won the second one in '72. We beat the Rangers in New York."

      So again it seems that the coach didn't have a big influence. I got the impression that Bep Guidolin wasn't popular but that Jacques Plante not playing well was the reason the lost in the 1973 playoffs, it wasn't the fault of the coach.

      Jay in Milford

      --- In hockhist@yahoogroups.com, "Craig" <bflynn3@...> wrote:
      > Tonight while driving home I heard former player agent and Maple Leaf official Bill Watters state that the Boston Bruins of the late 60's early 70's should have been a dynasty and won 4-5 Stanley Cups with the talent that they had. He also claimed that in their losses to Montreal in 1969 and 1971 as well as Philly in 1974 they were outcoached and placed the blame for those losses on Harry Sinden, Tom Johnson and Bep Guidlon. He also said the same about the Don Cherry era Bruins in so far as their loss in 1979 to Montreal.
      > I agree that with the talent on the Bruins in the early 70's they should have been more successful - but outcoached? Hmm not sure. Any thoughts?
      > Craig
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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