The Flying Goal
It is the most recognizable highlight in Boston sports history. The goal ranks up there with memories of the Boston Red Sox’s 2004 World Series championship, the New England Patriots’ first Super Bowl win, and the Boston Celtics’ incredible streak of eight consecutive championships from 1959 to 1966.
But Orr’s goal goes beyond winning the Stanley Cup. It was poetic that the Bruins’ best player potted the best goal in the franchise’s history. The game took place on May 10, 1970 — Mother’s Day. Play-by-play announcer Dan Kelly’s call of the final moments of Game 4 will give you goosebumps even to this day.
A big party started in Boston Garden. Orr, still on the ice after being tripped by St. Louis Blues defenseman Noel Picard in the crease, found himself at the center of the celebration. According to Orr, though, his flight through the air was by choice.
“As I went across, Glenn’s legs opened. I looked back, and I saw it go in, so I jumped.”Bobby Orr, ‘The Goal: Bobby Orr and the Most Famous Goal in Stanley Cup History’ by Andrew Podnieks
According to photos and replays, however, it seems as if the overtime hero was indeed tripped. Perhaps Orr simply wanted to avoid embarrassing a fellow defenseman. Maybe he didn’t want the media to run rampant with such a small footnote — after all, the Bruins had just clinched the franchise’s first championship since 1941.
No. 4 started celebrating just before being tripped, resulting in one of the most iconic photos in hockey. The photo was snapped by photographer Ray Lussier as Orr flew through the air like a Superman, his arms outstretched and an ecstatic expression on his face. (from ‘Former Haverhill newsman captured Orr’s famous ‘flight’,’ Eagle-Tribune, 05/11/2010) He was forever remembered as a superhero in the eyes of Bruins fans. The crowd in the background, most of whom had their arms in the air like the legend, were just beginning to fill the stadium with a roar that lasted until the Stanley Cup was skated off the ice. It was the moment Orr realized he was a champion, captured and engraved in history.