Milan Lucic is one tough hombre on one of the NHL’s toughest teams, and that’s something that has led to a target on the back of Lucic and the rest of the Bruins.
However, it’s also tough to argue with the fact that the physical style of play that Lucic and the B’s play is successful. The 2011 Stanley Cup champions were one of the roughest, toughest teams in the NHL, and that physicality remains as the core of that club has remained intact. That’s the style of hockey the B’s continue to play, and it’s helped them to a 12-2-2 record this season.
Some people criticize Lucic and the Bruins when they feel either go over the line, but Lucic certainly isn’t going to let that change the way he plays the game.
“We’ve got a big strong team and we’re gonna play the way that we play because we’re successful,” Lucic told The Gresh and Zolak Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Wednesday.
“We play good hard-nosed hockey and we do our best to stay within the rules. It’s a physical sport and nobody says you can’t be physical. You look at the way we won, we won by being physical. Last year, L.A., the Kings won by being physical as well. It’s proven that it works and that’s the way that we’re gonna play.”
Some have criticized Lucic for this hit on New York Rangers forward Rick Nash, as the sniper remains out with a mysterious injury that some have started to speculate is a concussion. The Bruins forward, though, stands by his defense that it was an innocent body check.
“I was just forechecking and trying to get to the puck first and it just so happened that he got injured on the play,” If it was a dirty hit, I’m sure it would have gotten reviewed and I would have been sanctioned for it. Obviously whoever looked at it, there was nothing wrong with it.”
Lucic also said the on-ice referees had no problem with the hit either. What on-ice officials did have problems with, however, was Lucic’s retaliatory blows to Florida’s Mike Weaver on Sunday after the Panthers defenseman appeared to cross-check Lucic from behind.
“Looking back at it, it is what it is,” Lucic said of his response to the play that earned him a double-minor and then a 10-minute misconduct penalty. ”I reacted the way that I did and I felt there was nothing wrong with the way I reacted. Anyone in my case would have been upset as well”
Of course, there’s a line that you can’t cross, and Lucic made sure that he was able to send a message to Weaver without stepping over that line.
“If you do that too much, if you cross the line you risk suspension and you really put your team down,” he said. “That’s what crossed my mind when I retaliated; I didn’t want to cross the line and risk suspension.”
Lucic leads the Bruins in hits this season and ranks 10th in the league with 62 hits through 15 games.