BOSTON — It took Bruins forward Milan Lucic six games to finally record his first point in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, and eight games to score his first goal last spring.
Heading into tonight’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with Montreal at TD Garden, Lucic is just about on the same pace this season.
In four games vs. the Canadiens, he has no points and just five shots on goal. He didn’t record a shot on net in Boston’s Game 4 victory, which evened up the series at 2, Thursday.
“This is not the time to get frustrated and be negative or bring yourself down,” said Lucic. “Because sometimes when you’re bringing yourself down, you might bring someone down with you. You don’t want to be doing that. As far as I’m concerned, today’s a fresh start. It’s almost like 0-0 again. And for myself, it’s a chance to hopefully get myself back, get myself going and start doing the things I know I can do.”
There have been murmurs that something physical is limiting Lucic’s effectiveness. We won’t know if that’s true until the playoffs are over. The only thing that’s certain now is that the Bruins need Lucic, and his linemates Nathan Horton and David Krejci, to contribute more to survive beyond the first round.
Lucic built off a two-assist performance in a series-clinching win in Game 6 against Buffalo last season to enjoy a solid second round against Philadelphia. He scored five goals in seven games, including two in the bitter Game 7 defeat.
The longer Boston’s playoff run goes, the better the chance Lucic will put up numbers. But without Lucic contributing something tangible there’s no telling how long the Bruins can last.
Lucic is searching for anything positive to go his way so he can get on a roll.
“I think it was just getting a good bounce,” he said about last year’s individual turnaround. “And then you start thinking positive again. It’s like a weight gets lifted off your shoulder once you get that bounce. And it seems like so far the bounces haven’t really been there. But that’s when you have to find a way to battle through things to get those bounces again.”