SI Vault
Mark Mulvoy
April 27, 1970
Bobby Orr of the Bruins left the Rangers in ruins with Stanley Cup play so overwhelming that he resembled a one-man team
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April 27, 1970

Mr. O And The Sack Of New York

Bobby Orr of the Bruins left the Rangers in ruins with Stanley Cup play so overwhelming that he resembled a one-man team

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"The Rangers started as many fights as we did. In that first game in New York they came out and told Derek they were going to get him. Then there was the big fight and Derek was kicked out of the game. But I haven't read anything about the big, bad Rangers. And all this stuff about how bad the Boston Garden is. Look how bad Madison Square Garden was. What they did to Derek was incredible. But I knew he'd give it to them at the end, and don't think we all didn't like that."

After finishing his 18 holes of golf Orr drove to the home he rents in Lynnfield, Mass. The houses along the streets reveal that Lynnfield is Orr country. Signs such as "Thanks Bobby" and "Go Bobby" and "Score with Orr" hang from porches and trees. Bobby's neighbors rarely bother him, but local children often ring the doorbell to return his dog, Keoki, even when he is not lost.

Between interruptions Orr tried to find the words for what he does on the ice. "I can't explain it," he said. "In New York they all asked me, 'What were you thinking when you started up ice?' and things like that. Hockey is not that type of game. Things happen too fast. We don't have any real planned plays, like in football. I skate up ice and look. I don't know what I'm going to do until it's done. You just adjust to the situation. If the defense is split too wide, I'll try to go through. If the defense is closed tight, I'll pass the puck. But I never know what's going to happen until I get there."

This, of course, creates a hardship for the rival defensemen. "Bobby changes his mind 15 or 20 times when he's skating up the ice," said Derek Sanderson. "Imagine what those defensemen must be thinking."

Friday night at dinner Orr was interrupted 17 times for a total of 38 autographs. A busboy who said he was a defenseman for Maiden High stopped his cart at Bobby's table, took his own hockey gloves from the bottom shelf and asked Bobby to sign them. "I've had them here every night," he said. "You came here once, and I thought you'd come again." The organist asked Bobby if she could play his favorite song. He thought for a moment. " Chicago," he said, and smiled.

"Two years ago we got into the playoffs," Orr said, "and while we were congratulating ourselves the Canadiens beat us in four straight. Last year the Canadiens beat us in six games. I think all that is behind us. We've been here before—and lost. Now we're ready to win."

On Sunday, in Chicago, Orr was routinely magnificent as the Bruins clubbed the Hawks 6-3 in the first game of the East final; he scotched three potential goals when Gerry Cheevers scrambled out of the Boston net and he assisted on two Bruin goals. Phil Esposito scored the hat trick on his brother Tony, the Hawk goalie. That's the new Bruins for you—clean but mean.

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