Skip to content

Julien on Lucic: ‘He’s been arguably our best forward’

May 8, 2013, 3:39 PM EDT

luciccelebratesap AP

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.

He’s tied with Jarome Iginla and Evgeni Malkin for the NHL’s assist lead, with six, and is a plus-5 while averaging 16:28 TOI per game.

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.”

Latest Posts
  1. Blues ink Brodziak, Harrold to one-year contracts

    Jul 2, 2015, 9:45 PM EDT

    Kyle Brodziak Kyle Brodziak

    Doug Armstrong dipped into the free agency pool Thursday evening for some depth signings.

  2. Oshie on trade from St. Louis: ‘Changes had to be made’

    Jul 2, 2015, 7:50 PM EDT

    T.J. Oshie T.J. Oshie

    He’s looking forward to playing with Ovechkin and Backstrom in Washington.

  3. Report: Voynov remains suspended by the NHL after taking plea

    Jul 2, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Slava Voynov Slava Voynov

    There’s no “timetables for next steps,” according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

  4. Kessel on moving on from Toronto: ‘It’s a different world there’

    Jul 2, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

    Phil Kessel Phil Kessel

    The 27-year-old is looking forward to a fresh start in Pittsburgh.

  5. Ducks bring back d-man Holzer with one-year, $750K deal

    Jul 2, 2015, 3:34 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks Headshots Getty Images

    Acquired from Toronto at last year’s trade deadline.

  6. NHL-KHL fail to reach player-transfer deal

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:57 PM EDT

    khl_logo

    Leagues will continue to respect each other’s contracts. But that’s it.

  7. Voynov takes plea, gets 90 days in jail plus probation

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:52 PM EDT

    Pleads no contest to misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse.

  8. Sharks hire Boughner, Hedberg as DeBoer’s assistants

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

    Windsor Spitfires v Niagara Ice Dogs Getty Images

    Boughner coached against DeBoer in the OHL, Hedberg played for him in New Jersey.

  9. Curtains on Broadway: Martin St. Louis calls it a career

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four Getty Images

    Former Hart Trophy winner announced his retirement on Thursday.

  10. Caps landing ‘affordable’ Williams a sign of the new free agency

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:29 PM EDT

    150702_JustinWilliams Getty Images

    “At some point Justin became more affordable to us, and we started to lean his way.”

  11. Kassian vows to give it all for Habs: ‘As you grow older, you mature’

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    Zack Kassian Getty Images

    “At the end of the day, nobody wants to get traded two times. But it’s a learning curve.”

  12. Shattenkirk’s agent downplays trade rumors

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT

    Kevin Shattenkirk AP

    But reports suggest Edmonton, Columbus and Philly are interested.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Richards (2525)
  2. D. Hamilton (2057)
  3. S. Gagner (1895)
  4. C. Talbot (1868)
  5. E. Etem (1787)
  1. P. Kessel (1762)
  2. Z. Kassian (1760)
  3. A. Niemi (1729)
  4. A. Sekera (1689)
  5. C. Pronger (1611)