Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bruins Sweaters of the Past #7: Dave Poulin (Christmas Eve Edition)

DAVE POULIN ("Poulie")
BOSTON BRUINS 1989-90-1992-93
5-11, 190
Born: December 17, 1958 in Timmins, Ontario
Games Played: 165 Goals: 34 Assists: 68 Points: 102 Penalty Minutes: 117

Twenty years ago next month, Harry Sinden acquired Philadelphia Flyers captain Dave Poulin for Ken Linseman, and the veteran center became one of Boston's team leaders and a clutch player who helped get the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Finals that spring.

Poulin, an undrafted free agent out of the University of Notre Dame (not well known for its hockey program back then) signed with Philadelphia. With the Flyers, he became one of the most respected players in the game, winning the Frank Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward.

In 32 games with Boston after the trade in early 1990, Poulin scored 6 goals and 25 points. However, it was his contributions in the 1990 postseason that left the lasting impression. In Boston's first-round series against the spunky and feisty Hartford Whalers, the B's were down 5-2 heading into the third period of Game 4, and a loss would give the Whale a stranglehold on the series, 3 games to 1. Poulin scored a pair of goals (along with Bob Beers and Dave Christian) in that third period, including the game-winner, to even the series which Boston eventually won in seven games. Mike Milbury was filmed hugging Poulin as the two left the ice, the veteran leader having come through for the team in a big way with Ray Bourque sidelined until the seventh game.

In the next round, against hated rival Montreal, Poulin tallied the lone goal in Boston's 1-0 Game 1 victory, setting the tone for the series. He would also contribute offensively in the Wales Conference Championship against the Washington Capitals, a Bruins sweep in four games.

Unfortunately, Poulin was felled in Game 2 of the final series against the Edmonton Oilers on a questionable hit from Mark Messier. Lost for the rest of the playoffs, the Bruins weren't able to get much going offensively, and not having Poulin certainly hurt.

His shoulder and back woes followed him, and in the next two seasons, Poulin was able to play just 49 games.

Poulin returned during the 1992-93 season to play all 84 games, posting his best single-season totals as a Bruin with a 16-goal, 49-point campaign. He signed with Washington as a free agent during the offseason.

This sweater is Poulin's last home edition as a Bruin, worn during his final campaign with Boston. It has a good amount of wear on it with lots of stick marks, repairs and some Boston Garder dasher paint as well. It has the assistant captain's 'A' and the Stanley Cup 100th Anniversary Patch that all teams wore throughout the 1992-93 season. There is a Set 2 stamp on the inside hem.

Poulin was a quality person and player who could have played a more prominent role for the Bruins on those contending teams of the early 90's had he not missed so much time to injuries. He was popular with the fans and after being a longtime coach and athletic director of his alma mater, has now moved on to a position with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.
The fact that nearly 20 years (Jan. 16th was when the trade occurred) has passed since Poulin came to Boston reminds me of how quickly it has all gone by. I was a senior in high school when it went down and I'll turn 38 and have my 20th HS reunion this summer. Where has all the time gone? Back then, I thought the Bruins would be in the thick of the Stanley Cup race every year, but the elapsed time has been anything but kind to the Bruins and their fans.
This sweater takes me back to better days and I hope it does for you as well.

1 comment:

  1. When EEI asked Ray Bourque who his favorite teammate was, he replied with Dave Poulin. I too was a senior in high school when he got traded to the Bruins (for The Rat).... oh my have the B's and the NHL changed sine then....