Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/19/13
BOSTON — Milan Lucic didn’t opt to go the route many of his Bruins teammates did during the NHL lockout. With many of his teammates — a league-most 12 of them in fact — heading overseas to play in Europe during the lockout, Lucic opted to stay in North America and wait it out on familiar territory. When the B’s returned to informal practices upon the end of the lockout, Lucic’s conditioning level was questioned by some. A week later, he and his wife Brittany welcomed their first child into the world. In short, it’s been a whirlwind leading up to Saturday night’s season opener. But if Lucic has any rust to knock off, he didn’t show it. The bruising forward, a notoriously slow starter, came out with energy from the jump, even getting the Bruins’ scoring going with a first-period goal. That goal was the byproduct of absorbing body contact through the neutral zone, sticking with the play and skating hard into the attacking zone where he slammed home a David Krejci rebound, putting it by reigning Vezina winner Henrik Lundqvist. That play set the tone for a Bruins team who looked like it hadn’t missed any time en route to a 3-1 win over the Rangers. “I felt great,” Lucic said. “Honestly, it was the best I felt all week since camp opened and the season started. Obviously, I was running on a lot of adrenaline coming into this game, and it’s just great to see all the guys step up and play a big game.” Lucic, who is usually at his best when he brings the physical aspect of his game as well, was unafraid to throw his weight around Saturday night. After New York defenseman Marc Staal laid out Lucic’s linemate Nathan Horton behind the Rangers net, Lucic delivered a bruising check to Staal to settle the score. Late in the third period, Lucic was at it again. This time it was some extracurricular cross-checking and trash-talking with Ryan McDonagh that actually led to an early exit for Lucic. If Lucic was motivated by any sort of whispers about his weight and physical condition, he wasn’t letting onto that. “It is what it is,” he said. “I don’t want to make too big of a deal about it. I feel good; I’m just going to go out there and play my game.” That’s all the Bruins can ask of the power forward, and if Lucic brings that type of game every night, it will go a long way in making sure the Bruins are where they want to be in a few short months.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Young Bulls players 'can’t stand' Dwyane Wade

Which MLB contenders are in the best shape for a World Series run?

Dolphins unlikely to overcome Tannehill’s injury to compete in AFC East

Report: Kyrie Irving told Cavs he wouldn’t report to training camp

Rob Gronkowski has given up alcohol with new diet

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Browns looking to trade Osweiler, Colts potential destination

Frank Lester: Jon Jones’ positive steroid test is a ‘straight set up’

Jimbo Fisher calls suspension rule ‘absolutely ridiculous’

Top storyline for each Week 3 NFL preseason game

LeSean McCoy seemingly responds to trade rumors

Emmanuel Sanders involved in car accident on way to team facility

The 'Please just make it to the regular season' quiz

Coming through in the clutch takes on new meaning for Derek Jeter in Miami

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

15 college football coaches who are on the hot seat

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

NHL 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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Please just make it to the regular season' quiz

Coming through in the clutch takes on new meaning for Derek Jeter in Miami

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

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