Today in Boston Bruins History: March 31
1949: Gilles Gilbert is born in Saint-Esprit, Quebec. Drafted by the Minnesota North Stars in 1969, he played there for a time, but is remembered best for his time as a Bruin. He became a Bruin after Gerry Cheevers went to the WHA and spent much of the 1970s as the Bruins’ starting goalie. Eventually Cheevers came back after having some disagreements with his WHA team’s management and then the Gilbert-Cheevers tandem became a standout duo in net–they were Vezina runners-up in 1980. In fact, Gilbert still holds the league record for most consecutive wins at 17, which he hit in 1975-76. He did spend some post-Boston time with the Detroit Red Wings, but he’s a Bruins netminding legend.
1980: Michael Ryder (full name Michael Wayne Glen Ryder) is born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Ryder, an alumnus of Andrews Hockey School in Prince Edward Island, played in the QMJHL before being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1998. In 2003 he scored the goal needed to end the longest playoff game in AHL history–it went into four overtime periods. He also got a hat trick in April 2007 while still a Hab and helped the Habs rally from down 0-5 to a 6-5 win in February 2008. But after 2008, the Canadiens didn’t resign him and he came to Boston. Part of it may have been the experience he’d had playing under Claude Julien. He had at least 33 points in each of his seasons as a Bruin and may be remembered best for his glove save against the Habs in the 2011 playoff quarterfinals:
(He sometimes plays goalie in roller hockey, but the thing is, he made that save with his blocker hand, not his glove hand!)
After the Cup win, he signed with the Dallas Stars for two years and as of this writing has 35 goals on the season with his new team.
1991: Chris Nilan sets a league record for penalties in a single game. He has ten: six minors, two majors, one ten-minute misconduct and one game misconduct. This is during a 7-3 Boston win against the Hartford Whalers.
2001: Another hatty to report! Jason Allison scores three goals, including two in less than a minute, during a Bruins 4-2 win over the New York Islanders.
A year ago today: The Bruins lose 4-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a shootout. Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Andrew Ference scored, but Nazem Kadri had the only goal needed in the shootout for the win. (If you look at that link there for Kadri, you’ll see that big shootout goals can sometimes be kind of his thing.)