Friday, July 1, 2011
With the lack of significant historical events in hockey history in the month of July it's time to reprise a different approach to the heart of summer. For the third year in a row, every day in July we are going to feature a jersey with a number on the back matches the current date, from 1 to 31.
It's a chance for us to showcase some jerseys that frankly aren't related to a Stanley Cup victory, milestone goal or even a player's birthday. We call it "July by the Numbers".
So, for July 1st, we kick things off with a jersey that carries the #1, and you just knew it was going to be a goaltender, didn't you?
After the Providence Reds left town after 51 years of play, the city would have to wait 15 years for the arrival of it's next club, the Providence Bruins, who were previously known as the Maine Mariners from 1987 to 1992.
The Bruins won their division during their first season in Providence in 1992-93 with a 46-32-2 record and were led in scoring by future Boston Bruin Tim Sweeney, whose 41 goals and 96 points placed him 8th in the AHL scoring race.
It would take until 1998-99 for Providence to win another division championship, which they did in style with a league best 56-16-4 mark (after winning only 19 games the previous season!) and were led in scoring by Randy Robitaille's 102 points, only two shy of the league leader. John Grahame (37-9-1) and Jim Carey (17-8-3) split the goaltending duties and the Bruins cruised through the playoffs with a 15-4 record to win the Calder Cup as AHL champions.
While Providence has had four deep playoff runs to the third round since then, they have yet to repeat as league champions. By far their second best season was in 2007-08 when the Bruins again finished with the best regular season record, earning 117 points with a 55-18-3-4 mark and were led in goal by future Boston Bruin Tukka Rask with 27 wins.
Throughout the history of the franchise, Sweeney's 41 goals and Robitaille's 74 assists and 102 points still stand as team records. In goal, Tim Thomas holds the marks for both Goals Against Average of 1.84 and Save Percentage at .941 set in 2003-04.
Andy Hilbert's three strong seasons, which included leading the team in scoring twice, place him first overall in career scoring with the Bruins in goals (101), assists (109) and points (210) while Grahame hold the career mark for wins by a goaltender with 67.
Notable players over the history of the club include goaltenders Grahame, Rask and Thomas and skaters Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Glen Murray, Josef Stumpel and the late Sergei Zholtok, who ranks second in Providence career scoring with83 goals and 186 points.
Today's featured jersey is a 2001-02 Providence Bruins Andrew Raycroft jersey. This jersey is emblematic of the Providence Bruins tradition of duplicating their parent club's jerseys with the "spoked B" replaced by a "spoked P" logo. With the change to the Reebok Edge jerseys, Providence no longer matches the style of Boston jerseys as closely, but there is no mistaking the connection between the clubs.
Today's video segment is highlights of the Providence Bruins winning the Calder Cup in 1999.