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Claude Julien isn’t too happy with Lucic and Horton

Jan 17, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Milan Lucic; Nathan Norton; Jonas Gustavsson AP

The Bruins are still winning games and looking like a dominating force, but that doesn’t mean everything is all good in Boston.

Bruins coach Claude Julien has loved the play of David Krejci, but he’s not exactly enamored with the play of his linemates Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty hears it from Julien about what his two physical scorers aren’t doing to help the Bruins.

“Looch looked like he had heavy legs tonight; [Horton] was the same thing,” said Julien.

Heavy legs is one thing, but Julien saved his harshest criticism for Horton.

“Horton has got to pick up his game. No ifs or buts about it. A guy his size needs to get more physically involved. He needs to compete a lot harder. He’s skating hard – you can see it on the backcheck – but we need more from him.”

Julien says he needs Horton to play better because the Bruins are dealing with injuries with their other forwards. Lighting a fire under both Horton and Lucic has worked in the past. We’ve seen Julien call these two out earlier this season even breaking up their line to motivate them. With how well Boston’s other lines are playing now, that option doesn’t seem likely this time around should things continue.

  1. 8man - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Slackers.

    The All Star break can’t come soon enough for some of these guys. It’s a long season

  2. mgp1219 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Seems to be a recurring theme with both of these players. Either one of these two for Rick Nash any time…please.

  3. pastabelly - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    I agree that these players will need a break. But the January schedule is very tough and they’re just not going to get it until the all-star break. The team has missed Marchand as moving Pouliott to the Bergeron has hurt both the second and third lines.

  4. danphipps01 - Jan 17, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Horton’s going to get edged out of the Bruins roster by the salary needs of the other top-six forwards in due time. Lucic may be hot and cold, but when he’s hot, his peak is higher – and even when he isn’t his physical edge is big for the team. Krejci was given his long-term contract earlier this season and there’s no doubt he’s earning his keep. Bergeron’s a no-brainer, Marchand seems to get better every time I turn around and Seguin’s got the highest potential ceiling of any of them. Horton’s not going to be able to keep making that salary with guys like those all in need of raises sooner or later. He’s a good player, but the Bruins are just too deep to afford four mil for what he does.

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