BOSTON — Injuries not only limited Milan Lucic’s offensive production in 2009-10 but also his fight total.
The Bruins winger registered just four fighting majors last season after racking up 10 the season before. Only two of those fights (plus one in the postseason) came after Lucic suffered a high ankle sprain.
So in just his second game of the preseason, and Boston’s third exhibition contest, Lucic found the time to tune up his fight game along with the other aspects of his play. He pummeled Florida’s Triston Grant (fellow Vancouver Giants alum) with 2:38 remaining in the first period.
Here’s a look at the bout:
“Well, I felt like the game on both ends was kind of lacking a little bit of emotion. And he went after [Nathan] Horton a little bit, so it felt like it was the right time, end of the period, try to get things going,” said Lucic after the Bruins lost, 3-2, in a shootout. It’s preseason, so it’s nice to get a couple out of the way. And I think we responded pretty well after that.”
So here you have Lucic skating in his first game on what could turn out to be Boston’s top line, alongside Horton and center David Krejci, and he still finds the time to drop the gloves. While that’s always been part of Lucic’s game, Boston might want him to shy away from pounding on a 200-PIM-per-year tomato can and risking an injury that could cost not only Lucic, but the Bruins, big time.
However, based on his postgame comments, it doesn’t sound like head coach Claude Julien is taking the right to fight away from No. 17.
“If he wants to play here and be the type of player that everybody sees him as, he’s got to do that,” said Julien. “I think he understands it. He went out there and did what he had to do tonight. It’s part of what we like to see from ‘Looch’ — being physical, and at the same time, every once in a while he drops the gloves and he puts fear in other teams’ players.”