May 8, 2013, 3:39 PM EST
Milan Lucic is making up for a disappointing regular season.
Just as his head coach.
On Wednesday, Claude Julien praised the power forward, saying he’s been one of Boston’s most effective players in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal against Toronto.
“[Lucic's] been arguably our best forward,” Julien told CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty. “It’s obvious he’s feeling better about himself now than he did all year.”
The 24-year-old forward had a tough campaign, recording just seven goals in 46 games. Over an 82-game season, that works out to around 12 goals — Lucic scored 26 last season, and 30 the year before.
His struggles culminated with a mid-April stretch when he openly criticized his own play, then was made a healthy scratch for the first time since his rookie season of 2007-08.
“There are no excuses and there’s nobody to blame but myself,” he said at the time. “I know I can still be a big part of this team and it all comes down to me.”
In the playoffs, though, Lucic has been a totally different player.
Lucic has also rediscovered his physical game, leading all Bruins forwards with 11 hits.
For Julien, it’s a relief to see the old Lucic back.
“It has been a frustrating year for him and frustrating for us as well, not seeing Milan be Milan,” Julien told NHL.com. “Once he found his game and his groove, I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone how big a factor he is for our hockey club.”
Dec 12, 2013, 4:40 PM EST
Oh, and Anders Nilsson sent back to AHL.
Dec 12, 2013, 4:23 PM EST
That didn’t take long.
Dec 12, 2013, 3:53 PM EST
Plus, the Rangers have issues.
Dec 12, 2013, 3:31 PM EST
Coyotes hoping “it’s not long, long-term.”
Dec 12, 2013, 3:06 PM EST
Activated off IR, will face the Flames in Calgary tonight.
Dec 12, 2013, 2:57 PM EST
Helped the Flames win their first and only Stanley Cup in 1989.
Dec 12, 2013, 2:50 PM EST
Game goes March 1 (on NBC).
Dec 12, 2013, 2:42 PM EST
News and notes from the blue paint…
Dec 12, 2013, 2:32 PM EST
Will get an MRI tomorrow.
Dec 12, 2013, 1:53 PM EST
“We want black and blue hockey.”
Dec 12, 2013, 1:51 PM EST
He broke in as a 19-year-old during the 2011-12 campaign.
Dec 12, 2013, 1:42 PM EST
Former Oilers draftee had been with AHL Adirondack.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:54 PM EST
Buffalo’s in Ottawa to play the Sens tonight.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:37 PM EST
Dec 12, 2013, 12:15 PM EST
Assistant general manager John Weisbrod also relieved of duties.
Dec 12, 2013, 12:11 PM EST
Montreal’s in town tonight.
Dec 12, 2013, 11:53 AM EST
Club looking to snap a three-game winless streak.
Dec 12, 2013, 11:29 AM EST
File under “things that happen when a team is co-owned by fierce competitors.”
Dec 12, 2013, 10:50 AM EST
Bit of a shakeup in Ottawa.
Dec 12, 2013, 10:39 AM EST
He was injured on a hit by fellow Tampa Bay prospect Adam Erne.
- Burke wants the Flames to be — yep, you guessed it — more ‘truculent’ 38
- Flames fire GM Jay Feaster 36
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 15
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 36
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 81
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Rangers must consider Callahan’s injury history in contract talks 13
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 33
- Report: Isles coach Capuano not seen as problem 11
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Flyers challenge top-ranked Blackhawks 18
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)