The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and made it to at least the sixth game of the season’s final series two other times this century. The team also has 22 points after the first 15 games of the 2021 season and is at the top of the standings in the Mass Mutual East Division.
This is a pretty good run for any franchise, but what makes it even more impressive is how many young and talented players have been lost over the last ~15 years. Losing the talent the Bruins have during this time would set most franchises back (especially considering the mediocre returns Boston received).
In fact, the Bruins’ situation is such an unfortunately impressive loss of talent that one would need to search far and wide to find anything comparable. And the answer of who (or what) that would even be ultimately came outside of the world of sports.
The television show “ER” was a ratings monster as soon as it premiered, finishing 1st or 2nd in viewers in all of its first five seasons. The show would remain a top 10 show into its 10th season and ran for an additional five seasons.
However, when you take a run through the IMDb cast list, it is incredible how many “stars” were waiting until they took off their scrubs to shine the brightest.
Now it’s only natural at this point to want to know, who lost more talent, the 2000’s Boston Bruins or “ER”?
This will be decided over seven matchups and one main event (where each side will put up their strongest performer). After the Bruins won the coin toss they chose the matchups to go in order of when the player left Boston.
As for the “ER” choices, the rules are the actors/actresses had to leave the show no later than the 6th season and they couldn’t have done what they were most known for in their career prior to leaving the show (This is why Omar Epps will not be part of this event).
MATCHUP #1 – BRAD BOYES vs. MARIA BELLO
- Boston career – 2 years, 39 goals
- Departure – Traded to St. Louis in 2004 season
- Post-Boston Highlights – scored 76 goals in next two seasons
- ER role – Played Anna Del Amico for 25 episodes from 1997-98
- Post-ER Highlights – Starred in “Coyote Ugly”, “A History of Violence”, both “Grown Ups” and over 70 episodes of “NCIS”
It’s difficult to start with a matchup so tight here. Boyes has nowhere near the name recognition of Bello, and it’s not like he was ever part of a “classic” team that would be equivalent to starring in “A History of Violence”. However, averaging nearly 40 goals a year over two seasons is the most impressive thing either accomplished after leaving Boston/ER.
The Winner = Boyes
TOTAL SCORE – BRUINS – 1 / ER – 0
MATCHUP #2 – PHIL KESSEL vs. JULIANNA MARGUILES
- Boston career – 3 years, 66 goals
- Departure – Traded to Toronto in 2009
- Post-Boston Highlights – averaged nearly 30 goals a year for next 10 seasons, played every game in nine of those years, won 2 Stanley Cups
- ER role – Played Carol Hathaway in 134 episodes from 1994-2000, won 1 Emmy
- Post-ER Highlights – Starred in CBS’ “The Good Wife” for over 150 episodes, winning 2 Emmys and 1 Golden Globe for the role. Also appeared in 4 episodes of “The Sopranos”.
Consistency and durability, this is what we’re talking about here. Kessel could be penciled in as a top scorer in every game for a decade. Marguiles did the same by getting over 10 million viewers every episode for seven seasons. The difference is hardware, with Marguiles taking home multiple individual trophies, recognition that has eluded Kessel. Sure, Kessel was part of two Cup winners, but Marguiles was also part of something incredibly special with her “Sopranos” run.
The Winner = Marguiles
TOTAL SCORE – BRUINS – 1 / ER – 1
MATCHUP #3 – BLAKE WHEELER vs. MARISKA HARGITAY
- Boston career – 2+ seasons, 110 points
- Departure – Traded to Atlanta in 2011 season
- Post-Boston Highlights – Led the league in assists in 2017-18, has averaged 82 points a season last three years, 1 All Star team (17-18)
- ER role – Played Cynthia Hooper for 13 episodes from 1997-98
- Post-ER Highlights – Stars in Law & Order: SVU and has been in 489 episodes, winning 1 Emmy and 1 Golden Globe. Also appeared as part of Taylor Swift’s squad in the “Bad Blood” video.
Leading the league in any positive statistical category is extremely impressive. Starring in nearly 500 episodes of a network TV show during this age of streaming services is bafflingly impressive. Being “Justice” in T. Swift’s video is just unnecessary icing on the cake for M Hargs.
The Winner = Hargitay
TOTAL SCORE = ER – 2 / BRUINS – 1
MATCHUP #4 – TYLER SEGUIN vs. JULIE BOWEN
- Boston career – 3 years, 121 points, won 1 Stanley Cup
- Departure – Traded to Dallas in 2013
- Post-Boston Highlights – 6+ seasons in Dallas, has averaged nearly a point a game (514 in 538 games). 1 Stanley Cup Finals appearance
- ER role – Played Roxanne Please for 9 episodes from 1998-99
- Post-ER Highlights – Starred in “Modern Family” for 250 episodes, winning 2 Emmys. Also starred in “Ed” for over 80 episodes and “Boston Legal” for over 50 episodes.
What many are calling the “Hot Ones” matchup. Seguin certainly has delivered the flash in his post-Boston career by filling up the stat sheet. His team has also started to perform better with a run to the Stanley Cup Finals last season before falling to Tampa Bay. Bowen starring in one of the few “mega-sitcoms” over the last decade seals the dub here though. Add in starring in two other shows that reached syndication status and this one wasn’t even that close.
The Winner = Bowen
TOTAL SCORE = ER – 3 / Bruins – 1
MATCHUP #5 – REILLY SMITH vs. JORJA FOX
- Boston career – 2 years, 33 goals, 91 points
- Departure – Traded to Florida in 2015
- Post-Boston Highlights – Averaged over 21 goals a year in his five seasons after the trade, 1 Stanley Cup Finals appearance
- ER role – Played Dr. Maggie Doyle for 33 episodes from 1996-99
- Post-ER Highlights – Starred on “CSI” for over 296 episodes, and appeared in five episodes of the “West Wing”
Smith has delivered the kind of scoring recurrence most teams would love to bank on from a top-9 wing. He was also a part of the first Stanley Cup Finals appearance of the Golden Knights franchise. Fox was part of a massive hit show with the original “CSI”, and a key piece of a major early series storyline on “West Wing”, but it’s not enough to overtake the allure of a routine 20-goal scorer.
The Winner = Smith
TOTAL SCORE = ER – 3 / Bruins – 2
MATCHUP #6 – DOUGIE HAMILTON vs. MING-NA WEN
- Boston career – 3 years, #7 overall pick, 83 points
- Departure – Traded to Calgary in 2015
- Post-Boston Highlights – 6+ seasons averaging 40+ points a season as a defenseman
- ER role – Played Jing-Mei Chen for 8 episodes in 1995 (Returned to the show in 2000 for 100+ more episodes)
- Post-ER Highlights – Starred as “Mulan”. Also appeared in 130 episodes of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (130 eps) and four episodes of “The Mandalorian”.
We don’t even have to bother here.
Two words…DISNEY MONEY.
Wen is a Disney princess AND part of the Marvel and Star Wars universe.
The other guy still has a little kid’s name.
Winner = Wen
TOTAL SCORE = ER – 4 / Bruins – 2
MATCHUP #7 – COLIN MILLER vs. RON ELDARD
- Boston career – 2 years, 29 points
- Departure – Selected in 2017 Expansion Draft
- Post-Boston Highlight – first season in Vegas he had 41 points, 1 Stanley Cup Finals appearance
- ER role – Played Ray “Shep” Shepard for 17 episodes from 1995-96
- Post-ER Highlights – Appeared in “Sleepers”, “Deep Impact”, “Mystery, Alaska” and “Black Hawk Down”.
Miller has had one very productive season after his time with the Bruins. He was a top-25 defenseman for goals and assists, and his team made the Stanley Cup Finals. Eldard is a solid actor, but he’s never reached that type of peak in any of his roles since he stopped working at County General Hospital.
The Winner = Miller
TOTAL SCORE – ER – 4 / Bruins – 3
MAIN EVENT – JOE THORNTON vs. GEORGE CLOONEY
- Boston career – 8 years, 454 points, 1 All-Star appearance
- Departure – Traded to San Jose in 2005
- Post-Boston Highlights – 1,000+ points over 15+ seasons, 3 All-Star appearances, 1 Hart Trophy, 1 Ross Trophy, 1 Stanley Cup Final appearance
- ER role – Played Doug Ross for 105 episodes from 1994-1999
- Post-ER Highlights – He’s George Clooney
Thornton never had a chance and that’s just a testament to the mega-superduperstar that is George Clooney. A Hart Trophy and a Stanley Cup Finals appearance is pretty much what all great NHL players can view as cementing their legacy as one of the best in the sport. Yet, Thornton didn’t even have time to raise the gloves here before the decision was made. The “Ocean’s” movies, the Oscars, the looks. It’s Clooney.
The Winner = Clooney
FINAL SCORE – ER – 5 / Bruins – 3
Well that settles that. The Bruins have had an impressive run over the last decade and a half despite losing a significant number of talented players. But if we’re talking about who said goodbye to more talented performers, it’s “ER”.
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