April 18, 2010
1929 Stanley Cup - Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers met in the 1929 Stanley Cup finals. It was the first time two American teams faced off for the Stanley Cup - a trophy originally designated for the top Canadian amateur team.
The Bruins were definitely the favorites entering the series. They owned the Rangers in the regular season, winning five of six matches. The Bruins were powered by a new line - Cooney Weiland with Dit Clapper and Dutch Gainor on the wings. The explosive line would later be nicknamed the Dynamite Line. The Bruins had also had the rambunctious Eddie Shore providing the surprise offense from the rear; and Tiny Thompson in nets, allowing just a miniscule 1.15 goals against per game on average.
The Rangers, the defending champions, returned with mostly the same team from their championship year, with Frank Boucher and brothers Bill and Bun Cook wowing audiences everywhere. The most notable change was in net. Gone was Lorne Chabot, who was injured for most of the previous Stanley Cup finals anyways. In was John Ross Roach, described as "something of a playboy," but very stingy between the pipes. In the four previous playoff games Roach allowed only one goal!
The final series was reduced to a best of three, while the previous round was upped to a best of five. This was designed to theoretically reduce the chance of upsets.
Game one was at the new Boston Garden, where a reported 18,000 fans, many blaring trumpets, watched a Clapper and Gainor score 2nd period goals and witnessed a perfect game from goalie Thompson in a 2-0 victory.
Game two moved to Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, but the Bruins could not be stopped. Harry Oliver scored the opening goal and assisted on Bill Carson's winner with just 118 seconds left in the game, giving Boston it's first Stanley Cup championship.
Harry Oliver recalled the winning goal, which surprisingly did not send the Bruins players into an instant euphoria:
"I was going down the right side. I saw Bill Carson loose on the left side. I passed him the puck and wingo! It was in on the left side.
"Today they make a big fuss about a goal, hugging each other . . . jumping up and down. We just gave a tap on the shoulder, nice going, and that was all. Today they're more emotional after a goal.
The Cup didn't have all those bands at the bottom. It had just one or two bands. We had a team dinner in Boston the next night and went home. The Bruins gave use each a bonus of five hundred dollars in twenty dollar gold pieces. And the Stanley Cup playoff money was around a thousand dollars.