Milan Lucic is finally reaching his potential this season for Bruins

Milan Lucic Bruins
Milan Lucic already has 12 points on the young 2013-14 season for the Bruins. Credit: Getty Images

The Bruins (8-5) have lost three of their last four games but Milan Lucic is playing as well as anyone on the team so you can’t blame him for their recent malaise. Heading into Tuesday’s (7, NESN) showdown with the Dallas Stars (6-6-2) and former teammates Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley, Boston’s burly first line left wing leads the team in goals (6), he is tied for the best shooting percentage (23.1 percent) while he’s second in assists (6) and third in plus/minus (plus-7). Along with center David Krejci (2 goals, 11 assists) and new Bruin Jarome Iginla (3 goals, 6 assists), Lucic is playing on one of the best forward lines in the NHL.

With this solid start to 2013-14, it’s easy to forget how much Lucic struggled last season (7 goals, 20 assists in 46 games) in the lockout-shortened regular season. What we remember better is the way he performed in last season’s playoffs (7 goals, 12 assists in 22 games) as the B’s reached the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in three years. It’s hard to say what made Lucic flip the switch last spring, but it was obvious in Game 7 against the Maple Leafs, when he almost single-handedly started their improbable comeback, that the old Lucic was back in full effect.


A logical conclusion for this season’s obvious turnaround by Lucic is that he wants to be in Sochi, Russia this February playing for Team Canada. A few years ago, the thought of Lucic playing for the defending Gold medalists would seem unlikely, but now after he was invited to their training camp over the summer, it seems within his reach. Keep in mind that Bruins head coach Claude Julien and general manager Peter Chiarelli are both involved with Canada’s national team so if Lucic continues his fine play, you have to assume they’ll put in a good word for him.

When you talk about Lucic’s overall game, there are always two simple keys to his success: moving his feet and playing smart. If he’s playing poorly, odds are that he looks slow on his skates and is often out of position. Likewise, he has 14 penalty minutes so far this season which is a reasonable total, but you can’t single out too many dumb penalties which are often the result of his physical play that often borders on dirty when he’s frustrated. Maybe with age (25) and experience (this is his seventh year in the NHL), Lucic has finally put it all together to become what we all thought he could be: one of the top power forwards in a league that doesn’t have too many of them anymore.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."