The offseason after a team wins the Stanley Cup can feel short enough without having surgery.
So for a player like Bruins forward Milan Lucic, who both had surgery and needed time to rest another injury, the offseason can feel shorter than a wait for a TD Garden men’s room.
Lucic threw out the first pitch at the Lowell Spinners game last night, and WEEI.com writer D.J. Bean got an update on Lucic’s health, which according to the veteran winger is 100 percent ready to get on with the Bruins’ Cup defense.
Not only does Lucic have a clean face, but he has a clean bill of health, something he did not have during the playoffs. Lucic, who had developed a reputation as a big playoff performer (he has six goals in the last eight games in which the B’s could eliminate an opponent), was forced to deal with injuries throughout the team’s playoff run. Though he did not miss a game in the postseason, he dealt with a sinus infection and broken nose over the course of the playoffs, and suffered a broken toe when rookie Tyler Seguin hit him with a slap shot in practice during the Eastern Conference Final.
While Lucic’s toe injury did not require surgery, he was operated on for his broken nose, an injury that dates way back to March 4 of 2010 (the biggest break, Lucic says, came during a fight with Colton Orr). Now walking without the limp that he sported over the last two rounds of the postseason and breathing better than ever, Lucic is ready to enter his fifth NHL season without hindrance.
“It’s nice to finally be breathing out of both nostrils again, I will say that,” Lucic said. “I felt the most effects from it in the first series against Montreal this year. I had a sinus infection, and I was feeling under the weather, and that kind of sucks. It really did suck, but it’s great now, everything’s fixed now, so it’s all good.”
This will be a big year for Lucic, who will be expected to better his 30-goal performance of a season ago and also take on an added leadership role in the absence of the retired Mark Recchi and in the second-year of his multi-year contract extension. That he gets to start off the crucial season with a clean bill of health gives him a head start and no excuses.