Today in Boston Bruins History: April 23
1949: Gregg Sheppard (full name Gregory Wayne Sheppard) is born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. After some time spent in juniors honing his craft, he joined the Boston Bruins in 1972 and had a great rookie season, finishing second in votes for the Calder Trophy. His time in Boston was productive–he had three 30+ goal seasons and would’ve had a fourth except for an injury, went to the All-Star Game in 1976, won the Seventh Player Award and Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy in 1976 as well, had his best statistical season in 1975 (78 points, +45 rating). He was traded to Pittsburgh in 1978 and played there for four seasons before retiring in 1982.
1960: Claude Julien is born in Blind River, Ontario. He played for just two NHL seasons with the Quebec Nordiques as a defenseman, but also played for many AHL, IHL, OHL and CHL teams as well. His coaching career started in 1997 with the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL and from there he went on to be the bench boss for the Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils before the Bruins. When he joined the Bruins in 2007, it was during a tumultuous time: Patrice Bergeron was out with a concussion and Manny Fernandez was injured too. But things got better–he won the Jack Adams Award in 2009, then came out of an injury-laden 2010 postseason and led his team all the way to the Stanley Cup in 2011. In that 2011 Cup run, he surpassed Don Cherry for playoff wins behind the Bruins bench with 33. Last December, he got his 200th regular-season win in a 6-0 blanking of the Philadelphia Flyers, the top rung of the ladder the Bruins climbed to get out of the Eastern Conference basement. He coached Team Chara in the 2012 All-Star Game and coached his 400th Bruins game, an 8-0 shutout and season sweep of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is sometimes called Handsome Ralph by Bruins fans because of a radio station segment where a woman is asked Bruins questions and gets pretty much all of them wrong, identifying Julien as a handsome guy whose name she can’t remember until she comes up with Ralph.
1970: John Bucyk matches the Bruins team record for most power play goals in a single playoff period when he notches two in the second period against the Chicago Black Hawks. The Bruins go on to win 5-2.
1972: Speaking of that power play goals in a period record, John McKenzie matches that record in the second period against the St. Louis Blues. The Bruins win this one 7-2.
1983: The Bruins pull out a 6-5 overtime victory against the Quebec Nordiques when Peter McNab scores after 10:54 of extra time.
1989: Cam Neely and Michael Thelven combine to score the fastest two goals in Boston Bruins playoff history, scoring just seven seconds apart. Talk about your ba-boom, ba-boom! These quick goals come in the second period against Montreal.
A year ago today: The Bruins defeat the Canadiens 2-1 in overtime. Brad Marchand scores in regulation and Nathan Horton scores the winning goal in second overtime to end the 12th longest game in Boston Bruins history. Famously, this game was so long that Montreal’s Max Pacioretty tweeted “this game is longer than Marchand’s nose.” He later apologized for the tweet (although I personally think it was pretty funny).