The Boston Bruins narrowly escaped a first round elimination at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Milan Lucic deserves a lot of credit for powering the Bruins. The big Bruins power-forward took a lot of crap for his play throughout the season and in large part during the first round. But when the chips were down and the Bruins needed someone to step up Milan Lucic did just that.
When the Bruins hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2011, players like Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand really provided the spark the team needed. They scored timely goals and drove opponents up the wall. Lucic has been “off his game” so far this season which isn’t good for the Bruins, but thankfully the playoffs are a whole different story.
But as previously mentioned, Lucic came up big when his team needed him. Since being “awakened” in game three of the series after a three assist night, Lucic was flying all over the ice posing as a serious threat every game. Using his size and strength to out-power opponents on the boards and in front of the net. Combine that with his relentless forecheck and a fairly fast-skating large man and you have a monster on your hands. Even when Lucic isn’t scoring you don’t want to play him, his bone-crushing hits alone will leave you questioning why you tried to go to battle with him.
When it seemed like all hope was lost for the Bruins and they would go down in game 7 on home ice for the second year in a row, Milan Lucic put the Bruins on his back.
He made a beautiful play to gain the zone and find Nathan Horton for the Bruins 2nd goal, then scored the goal to bring the Bruins to within one and although he wasn’t credited with an assist, he initiated the play where Patrice Bergeron tied the game at 4. Just your average 11 minutes in the 3rd period of a game 7.
While Bergeron will go down as the hero who scored two goals including the game-winner, Milan Lucic deserves a lot of credit. He showcased every aspect of his game that makes him so dangerous and decided that the Bruins, his Bruins wouldn’t go down in embarrassing fashion on home ice. When Lucic decides to single-handedly take a game over, you better watch out. There’s not a soul in the NHL that can match what Lucic brings to a team and when he wants to motivate his teammates, there isn’t likely anyone who says no.
For 11 minutes and 32 seconds on Monday night Milan Lucic played a perfect game and sparked his team onto victory. He put the team on his back and carried them out of the trenches, leading one of the most historic come-backs in NHL history.
While you may not like Milan Lucic, he is an invaluable commodity to a team. He brings physicality, tough play, relentless forechecking and a great attitude. Teams win the Stanley Cup with guys like Milan Lucic on the ice.