BOSTON -- Bobby Orr flew again here Monday, 40 years to the day his Stanley Cup winning goal began a golden age of hockey in New England.
A 110% life-sized bronze statue of No. 4’s famous goal to win the 1970 Stanley Cup was unveiled outside the TD Garden and right beside the site of the old Garden, where Orr and Derek Sanderson worked a give-and-go with Orr beating St. Louis Blues goalie Glenn Hall.
The late Ray Lussier of the Boston Record American (now The Herald) snapped the famous picture just as Orr cut to the goal and took off on his right foot, while Blues defenceman Noel Picard, angry that he had been beaten for the overtime goal, helped Lussier by getting a stick under the great defenceman to lift him after he already had scored and soared.
The picture almost didn’t make it to paper because Lussier thought his photo editor would reject it because it didn’t show the puck. When the boss asked if any of the staff had any secondary shots of the game for a layout, Lussier went back to the lab and gave him the one of Orr in flight.
Orr, now a grandfather, was joined for Monday’s presentation by his family, Sanderson and other Bruin teammates, coach Harry Sinden, club owner Jeremy Jacobs, sculptor Harry Weber, with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino supplying some humour. Menino, known for his public speaking gaffes, compared Orr’s goal to a series of feats by Boston’s pro athletes calling them all “ionic” moments instead of iconic, then topped that by confusing the list.
“Havlicek stole the ball, Fisk waiving the ball fair, Flutie launching the Hail Mary pass, Varitek splitting the uprights,” Menino gushed.
He was referring to Patriots’ kicker Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal to beat the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl, not catcher Jason Varitek of the Red Sox.
“As a Canadian growing up and even here of course, I’d say one out of every three ‘man-cave’ basements has that picture up on the wall,” said Bruins’ Shawn Thornton.