Twelve days after certain defeat the Bruins are back in the Conference Finals, for the second time in three years, to face the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gregg Sheppard, who would go on to play for both teams, came to the Bruins to help fill the void of Derek Sanderson and others taking off for the WHA. (Sanderson would be back, rather quickly, actually.) Sheppard played a large role in the Bruins’ run to the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals, netting eleven goals in the playoffs. He was traded to the Penguins a few years later, playing in Pittsburgh until retiring in 1982. I never saw Sheppard play but his size, stats, and knack for playoffs goals reminds me of Brad Marchand. Sheppard isn’t what interests me about this card, though, it’s the set itself. Lipton produced a 50-card set in 1974-75 on the back of their soup boxes. (If you have a couple of minutes be sure to read this great post on the set over at Diamond Cuts and Wax Stains.) The cards are a bit smaller than your traditional card and they had to be hand cut out of the boxes but they have a nice, simple design and are full of close cut, action shots like the one above, which look even nicer when compared to the plethora of ugly portrait shots O-Pee-Chee featured regularly back in the seventies.
But back to the Penguins.
I’m not sure if the Bruins have a chance this round. Pittsburgh has too much firepower, too many offensive weapons. They had a perfect month back in March, when they went 15-0-0, the first time ever in the history of the NHL.
Then again, I didn’t think they had a shot against Vancouver in 2011, or down three goals with 10:30 left against Toronto in Game 7.