A. Well, I didn't have any particular approach till after the first game. We lost 3-1, at the Boston Garden, but we could just as easily have won. It came to me in the dressing room: Jeez Murphy, we lost, but we could have won! And I said to myself, "This is encouraging, this is exciting! We played well. It could have gone either way. We can win this thing."
Q. I think you were seriously disoriented. I don't understand where you got the courage even to go out on the ice against the Bruins. They were the highest-scoring team in hockey history, and everybody figured the Stanley Cup playoffs were just a formality.
A. I know it, but everybody was wrong. The Boston team isn't all strong. I mean, they're a good team, but so are the Canadiens, so are the Black Hawks, so are some of the others. Boston is a good team plus one great player, Phil Esposito, and one unbelievable player, Bobby Orr.
Q. How did you handle Orr?
A. Well, nobody handles Orr in the ordinary sense. You don't try to nullify Orr, because you just can't. All you can do is cut down his effectiveness to some slight degree. We talked about forechecking him in his own end, but he is too good to be manhandled that way. If you put two men on him in his own end and really forecheck the heck out of him, he is gonna wind up beating those two guys and getting away from you. We just decided to relax on him up to our blue line, just token forecheck him, and then put the heavy pressure on him in our own end, favor his side and stay all over him. Strangely enough, Orr seemed to get into a shooting pattern for the first three or four games, although I didn't really notice it until it was almost over.
Q. A shooting pattern?
A. Yeah. After three or four games, I looked back and realized that every shot that he took was low on the glove side, in the corner. It was uncanny. I'd almost be willing to bet that every shot he took in the first four games was low, about six inches off the ice, in the corner and on the glove side. In the fifth game he broke out of the pattern, and then he became more effective.
Q. What was the turning point of that Boston series?
A. Well, all the sportswriters seem to think it was the third period of the second game. We were behind 5-1 in the second period, and we scored five goals in the last period to win the game and even the series. But in my opinion the turning point came in the dressing room right after the first game. That was when we all seemed to realize that the Boston Bruins were just another hockey team. We talked it over and we agreed that except for Orr their team wasn't a bloody bit better than our team—that was the real turning point.
Q. How were your nerves during the Boston series?