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BOSTON'S FAVORITE PARK IS NOT FENWAY
Jerry Kirshenbaum
December 06, 1976
Hated when he played for the Rangers, Brad Park has won over the old land of Orr and led the upstart Bruins to the NHL's best record
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December 06, 1976

Boston's Favorite Park Is Not Fenway

Hated when he played for the Rangers, Brad Park has won over the old land of Orr and led the upstart Bruins to the NHL's best record

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That evening Park led Boston to a 3-2 win over Washington. It was another of what Park calls "grind-'em-out games," with the Bruins seeming to play just well enough to win. Park did some nice poke checking in his own end and controlled the tempo of the Boston attack. He was on the bench during both Capital goals and on the ice for all of the Boston scores, including one of his own that put the Bruins ahead 2-1.

The goal came after the puck was sent into the boards behind the Washington net by another new Bruin, Center Peter McNab, a husky, hustling former Buffalo Sabre who was acquired in a preseason trade and has made the front office look like geniuses again by scoring 19 goals in the team's 23 games. The puck took a crazy bounce in front of the goal and Park, risking one of his infrequent intrusions far up-ice, was right there to backhand it in. But he paced himself the way Cherry likes, and he played six of the game's final eight minutes as the Bruins snuffed off the Capitals' efforts to tie the game.

Later, in the dressing room, a radio interviewer stuck a microphone in Park's face and said, "Brad, the Bruins aren't playing exciting hockey but you're winning and...."

"It may not be exciting to you," Park said, smiling. "It's plenty exciting to me."

A different sort of excitement awaited Brad later that night. He and Gerry went to get a bite to eat at Bette's Rolls Royce, then began the drive home around 1 a.m. They were a mile from their house when their 1976 Bonneville ran out of gas. Brad ventured out on the highway and flagged down two teen-agers who gave the Parks a lift the rest of the way home. During the 10 minutes he waited there, a chilled and annoyed figure hitchhiking on a darkened road, Park seemed anything but easygoing.

The next day, however, Park was his relaxed self again, chuckling as he told of the incident. Perhaps he realized that he still got home in 35 minutes, half the time it used to take him after Ranger games in New York with a full tank of gas. He may even have remembered those tolls he saved. He probably was also comforted by the knowledge that he made a couple of new friends for the Bruins. To repay their kindness, he gave the teenagers who picked him up free tickets to the next home game.

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