There’s no one quite like Ray Bourque. He’s the NHL all-time leader for goals, assists, and points by a defenseman and undoubtedly one of the greatest D-men of all time. Bourque won the Norris Trophy five times and was named an All-Star a whopping 19 times.
When he finally won his only Stanley Cup championship in his final NHL game, everyone liked it. Which team you may support, it was just one of those classic moments that will live on forever.
Bourque was a special player, great defensively but perhaps even better offensively. He had more points than games in 13 of his 22 NHL seasons, and his shot was one of the best the NHL has ever seen. He won the Shooting Accuracy Competition eight times, and he didn’t just shoot the puck where he wanted to. He shot it hard as well.
Ray Bourque actually had such a great shot that the Bruins had a play where Bourque shot the puck from his own end.
”If the draw was won to me, I would do one of two things,” Bourque said on the Raw Knuckles podcast.
”I would shoot as hard as I could around the boards, and the winger would just bang, go, and then we started a fore-check, pressuring them right of the game. It was that, or I could drill it on the net from our blue line.
”I would tell the referee, ’Hey, be careful here. I could take a shot here.’”
Bourque did, sometimes, rip it after exiting his own zone as well.
”I loved doing that. Do a little scooper, that would jump off the ice. Just have a little fun with it, and with the goalies.”
Bourque’s shot led to the Bruins going on a forecheck, putting pressure on their opponent. But one time, it led to a goal. In a game against Hartford, he beat goalie Kay Whittmore with a shot from the top of the face-off circle in the Bruins’ end. And Bourque couldn’t have picked a better opponent than Hartford since it was against an opposing player he didn’t exactly love.
”I give one up against Hartford in our own end. They score, and I go by the bench, and the one guy that could get under my skin was Rob Brown.”
Rob Brown played 543 NHL games and knew exactly what to say to irritate Bourque.
”He was a big mouth, and he knew what to say. He would just go, ’Ray! Ray Bourque! Nice one, Bourque.’ He was the only one that would come up to me and say, ’You’re so f**king overrated, Bourque.’ And I was like, ’What the f**k, who are you!?’ So anyways, right after that, the pucks in our corner, the draw is there. And I get it, and I slap one, right down on net. It’s a curveball, it curves, hit the ice, and it bounces over his shoulder.”
Of course, Ray Bourque had to rub it in Rob Brown’s face.
”I skate by him and I go, ’How do you like that one, Brownie?’” Bourque said, laughing.