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Bobby Orr Goal The greatest hockey player who ever lived, Bobby Orr, scores the most famous goal in National Hockey League history--an overtime tally to win the 1969-70 Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins. Orr's airborne celebration is an iconic image in Canada.
Tags: Bobby  Orr  goal 
Added: 27th December 2007
Views: 2669
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Teresa on 2007-12-27 
great clip!! and i have never been to a hockey game . . would LOVE to!
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2008-01-02 
Well, Teresa, come to Canada sometime and you can be my guest!
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2010-05-04 
Can it be 40 years ago? To me it seems like last week.
Posted by: lpeters199 on 2010-07-17 
Gordie Howe was hands down the greatest. Orr was protected by teammates and officials alike. Howe was his own goon.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2010-07-17 
I'm a Howe fan too, but even Gordie knows Orr was the best.

Orr being protected by goons? I don't think so. There are plenty of clips on YouTube where Orr is tangling with some of the toughest dudes in the NHL. Players tested Orr in his first year, but not much after that. Orr could do it all, skate, score, pass, kill penalties, hit, direct the power play, block shots, etc.

Now if you want to talk about a guy who was protected by goons, a certain number 99 comes to mind.
Posted by: TheSaint on 2010-07-18 
Lava is right - Bobby Orr WITHOUT A DOUBT was the greatest. Orr can do things Howe could only imagine - Orr revolutionized hockey.
Posted by: lpeters199 on 2010-07-20 
You saw clips on YouTube? I was at Olympia watching Gordie in his prime and later saw Orr many times in the 70s. Granted, Orr was faster and flashier while a teammate had to play defense for him as he rushed up the ice. Very skilled, talented, and selfish.

Highlight clips don't show the way Orr was protected by officials--attending games in person does. Sure he could do it all, but Howe did it all in a six team NHL, before expansion inflated scoring statistics. He was a superstar who was also a consummate team player. And tough? After he reshaped Lou Fontinato's nose and put him in the hospital, Howe was seldom challenged to a fight again. Keith Magnuson dropped the gloves on Howe once as a way to establish his reputation in the NHL. Gordie simply grabbed Maggie's head and rubbed it against the glass until Maggie got tired of swinging at the air. Gordie's strength was unbelievable. By the way, Howe was 40 years old at the time.

Judge by highlight clips if you wish. I'll believe my own eyes.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2010-07-21 
Nobody ever doubts Gordie Howe's toughness. Nobody should doubt Bobby Orr's toughness either. Watch the clip below on this website to see what Stan Fischler has to say on the topic.


Orr revolutionized the game. He changed the perception of what an NHL defenceman was supposed to do. He won the scoring title twice--as a defenceman! That's the equivalent of a MLB pitcher winning the home run title.

Among those who consider(ed) Orr the best ever to lace up the skates:

Danny Gallivan (HNIC announcer for three decades--and a well known Montreal homer)
Foster Hewitt (who saw them all from the 1920s until his death in 1985)
Milt Dunnell of the Toronto Star (who lived to be 100)
Jean Beliveau
Bobby Hull
Doug Harvey (considered the best defenceman in NHL history until you-know-who came along)
..and the vast majority of players who played with and against Orr.

When someone accumulates plus/minus numbers anywhere near what Orr did consistently while playing defence (and winning eight straight Norris Trophies!), then I'll consider that player in the same caliber as Bobby Orr. I won't hold my breath.
Posted by: lpeters199 on 2010-07-21 
Gordie Howe was a great for over 30 years, Bobby Orr for 10. Does longevity count at all in your book?
Posted by: lpeters199 on 2010-07-21 
The goal in this video indeed clinched the Stanley Cup in 1970. That game gave Boston a four game sweep over St. Louis in a series that the Blues were overpowered and had no chance of winning. Boston outscored St. Louis for those four games, 20 goals to 7. That's seldom mentioned in the hype surrounding Orr's goal, so many fans probably think it was scored in the 7th game of OT--far from it.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2010-07-22 
So a criticism of Orr is that his famous overtime goal came in game four of the finals instead of game seven? Now you're just being silly.

I don't know any hockey fan who thinks this was the seventh game. Most scholarly fans know that St. Louis lost four straight games in the finals three consecutive years. Blame the NHL for putting the six 1967 expansion teams in the same division, thus ensuring the best playoff matchup would be the Eastern Division final in 1968, 1969, and 1970.

Oh yes...in that 1970 Eastern Division final, the favored Chicago Blackhawks lost in four straight to the Bruins. (The Hawks had easily dispatched Gordie Howe's Detroit Red Wings in four straight games in the first round.) The Boston-Chicago series was so utterly dominated by 22-year-old Orr that St. Louis coach Scotty Bowman used a forward to shadow Orr for most of the first two games of the final. Imagine--a forward shadowing a defenceman!

As for the longevity argument, there were plenty of players who had longer careers than Orr, but none were as spectacular. Despite only paying in nine full seasons, Orr is still the gold standard by which all NHL players are measured. A comparable baseball equivalent is Sandy Koufax. Koufax was the most dominant player in the majors from 1961 through 1966. He called it quits at age 30 as well. No one criticizes Koufax for lack of longevity.
Posted by: lpeters199 on 2010-07-22 
Okay, since the name calling has started, I'll stop being silly and concede Orr's greatness. I was not criticizing the goal or Bobby Orr, just the hype. Someone scores a cup winner every season, so that one goal--in and of itself--was no more difficult than any other cup-winner, and less pressure-packed than most because it concluded a sweep. The rest of Orr's career was nothing less than amazing (as were his skills), but Gordie was ours so I'm admittedly biased when comparing the two.

Posted by: Lava1964 on 2010-07-22 
Fair enough. By the way, Gordie Howe very briefly played junior hockey in my hometown in 1945 before moving on to bigger and better things. Many months ago on this website I posted Gordie Howe's appearance on the syndicated version of What's My Line when he was a member of the WHA's Houston Aeros. You might get a kick out of it.

Your point about the hype surrounding the goal is valid. The goal itself wasn't all that spectacular--a simple give and go with Derek Sanderson. The misconception is that Orr scored the goal while airborne. He didn't, of course. The puck was already in the net behind Glenn Hall when Orr was tripped by Noel Picard. The photo of the moment afterward is the iconic image. The ironic part (which Orr happily concedes) is that he rarely celebrated a goal. This was one of the rare times he was going to raise his stick afterwards--leaving him vulnerable to be sent flying by Picard's late attempt to trip him. One interesting footnote: This brief clip apparently is all that exists of this game. The master tapes of most sports broadcasts of that were erased and reused.

True again that every year someone scores a Cup-winning goal. Still, overtime Cup-winning goals are relatively scarce. Off the top of my head there have been maybe ten in NHL history. Orr's is certainly the most memorable, followed by Bill Barilko's in 1951. Brett Hull's was the most infamous, followed by Henri Richard's in 1966 (when he slid into Detroit's net taking the puck and Roger Crozier with him). Somehow I suspect you remember that one.
Posted by: lpeters199 on 2010-07-22 
Yup, I remember. Some Red Wings claimed he drew the puck in with his arm before sliding into the net, but from the clips I've seen, there's no conclusive evidence that he did. The referee made the right non-call.

Richard was the hardest working player I saw in Detroit, and a terrific leader. The atmosphere at Olympia was electric when the Canadiens came to town, even in the early 70s, my season ticket years.

Good analysis of Orr's cup winner. One poster on YouTube described it as the most acrobatic goal in hockey history. That person evidently thinks that Orr picked the puck out of mid-air while he was flying past the net with Picard's stick around his ankle.

Posted by: Lava1964 on 2015-05-10 
Today is the 45th anniversary of this goal. I must be getting old.
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