Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 9, 1972: Johnny Bucyk Scores His 1,000th Point

On November 9, 1972, in front of a home crowd in Boston, Bruins left winger Johnny Bucyk became just the seventh man in NHL history to record 1,000 points in his career after scoring a goal in an 8-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Coincidentally, Bucyk's NHL career began with the team he would help beat that night in Boston. After playing several seasons of junior hockey Bucyk found his way to the roster of the Detroit Red Wings in 1955. His time in Detroit was brief, after two seasons in the Motor City he was traded to the Bruins for Terry Sawchuk who was regarded as one of the best netminders in the game. The move seemed to work out for the Bruins as Bucyk became a model of consistency that would spend the next twenty years with the team. In Boston, Bucyk was paired up with Bronco Horvath and Vic Stasiuk. The trio became known as the "Uke Line" they were an impressive force in the league as Bucyk developed into top level talent. Throughout the sixties he endured multiple losing seasons despite his high level of play. The emergence of Bobby Orr and several other key players turned his fortunes around. In 1970, he hoisted the Stanley Cup for the first time as the Bruins swept the St. Louis Blues in the Finals, then again in 1972 when they knocked off the New York Rangers in six games. The journey to 1,000 points was a hard fought battle that paid off as he became a champion along the way.  His consistent play only got better with age, at the age of 35 Bucyk scored a career best 51 goals. He averaged 62 points a season over 22 years. Scoring more than 30 goals seven times, 20 goals 9 times, and always coming up with his fair share of assists as well. When he retired he was the league's fourth highest scorer with 1,369 points in his career. To date, 79 men have scored 1,000 points or more. It is an elite list to say the least considering how many men have worn an NHL sweater since the league was established in 1917.

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