Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 9/24/13
BOSTON — The Bruins probably don’t necessarily like Milan Lucic fighting too much. He’s a top-six forward who has shown an ability to score goals, and he also brings a physical presence that is undeniable. However, that doesn’t do him or the team much good if he’s watching games from the press box with a broken hand. But fighting is a part of Lucic’s game, and it makes him a better play. It’s part of his arsenal, one of his skills. So that skill, like the rest he showcases, must be sharpened for the regular season. Lucic got a chance to work on that part of his game Monday night against Washington. Late in the first period Monday, Lucic dropped Capitals forward Dane Byers with a clean hit in the neutral zone. As Byers fell to the ice, Joel Rechlicz quickly intervened. The Capitals tough guy left Lucic no choice but to drop the gloves. The big forward isn’t necessarily one to back down from a challenge, and Lucic willingly dropped the gloves. The result was as good of a preseason fight as you’ll see. Lucic and Rechlicz took turns trading thunderous right hands, each one seemingly bringing more destruction than the last. Eventually, both ran out of gas and the fight was over. It’s a dicey proposition for Lucic — or any other skilled player who means a lot to his team — to fight in the preseason. You want to stay sharp in all facets of the game, but just as importantly, you want to stay healthy. It doesn’t do Lucic any good if he breaks his hand on the face of a guy who has 26 NHL games to his name. It’s a delicate balance, and it’s one the Bruins and Lucic expect the power forward to be smart about. “There’s a lot of cons in fighting in preseason,” Lucic admitted. “You don’t wanna break a hand or get a concussion from fighting in the preseason. The pros are that you’re showing that no matter the situation you’re going to stick up for your teammates [no matter the situation] and that’s what it basically was there.” It probably didn’t help ease any potential concerns that it was a marathon bout. The fight lasted a 45 seconds, with Lucic later admitting that he was (unsurprisingly) a little out of breath at the end of the dance. “I was hoping he was gonna go down, but he’s a big, tough kid, I guess a great fight,” Lucic said. “I’m sure you guys enjoyed it. It’s always nice to get into one just because it’s been the offseason and not getting into a fight and then having one like that there’s probably no better way to get back into it.” Fighting is part of the Lucic package, and he proved Monday night that it’s not necessarily exclusive to the regular season and postseason. Lucic got his work in, and he walked away as healthy as could be for a man who had a fist fight on skates. That’s all Claude Julien and the Bruins can ask for, and the head coach knows it’s just part of the game. “Hockey’s hockey,” he said. “And you can’t — it’s unfortunate, I know you don’t necessarily like seeing that, but guys are used to playing the game a certain way and preseason is about fine tuning yourself and it was what it was. And I’ll tell you what, that guy had a steel jaw because he wasn’t going down and Looch kept throwing some pretty good punches. “It was a fight for men, and people who enjoy that kind of hockey certainly got their money’s worth just on that one alone.” It was also a fight for Lucic to continue his preseason preparations. If his performance was any indication, he’s in midseason form in at least one aspect of the game.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Irsay: Pagano safe, Peyton not in picture as potential Colts GM

LeBron James: Gregg Popovich ‘factors a lot’ into 2020 Olympics decision

Joel Embiid is an MVP candidate

Jadeveon Clowney fined $18k for hit on Tom Brady during playoffs

Travis Kelce fined $21,615 for shoving player, calling out ref

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joel Embiid feels ‘great’ after MRI on knee comes back clean

10 best undrafted players remaining in NFL playoffs

Arizona's Allonzo Trier cleared to play after drug test comes back negative

Rodgers dealing with sickness ahead of NFC Championship Game

Russell Westbrook responds to All-Star snub

Report: Knicks, Melo to part ways by next season

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

Box Score 1/20: 37 years ago today, Carter said no to Moscow

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Ranking the top three conferences in college basketball

The NFC Championship’s two most important players

Eight bold predictions for second half of NBA season

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker