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Lucic compares Pittsburgh Penguins to Miami Heat

May 25, 2013, 10:42 PM EDT

bronandtheheat Getty Images

With a recent Stanley Cup championship on their resume, the Boston Bruins aren’t heavy underdogs very often. That might just be the case against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals, however.

Bruins power forward Milan Lucic is clearly relishing the pressure being on the other team, as he told’s Joe Haggerty that he thinks the Penguins are the NHL’s answer to the Miami Heat.

“No doubt they’re a great hockey club,” Lucic said. “In my mind, they’re almost like the Miami Heat of the NHL with all the star power.”

The Sidney Crosby-Lebron James parallels are pretty plentiful, for one. They were both No. 1 overall picks in their respective drafts, proved polarizing before championships softened some of the criticism and each player seems to add wrinkles to his game to keep defenses guessing.*

Evgeni Malkin makes a decent double for Dwayne Wade, even if “second fiddle” status seems a little unfair to such a strong player. But who’s Chris Bosh? Which player would be a stand-in for “Birdman”? So many questions.

(Hey, fans of these East teams might need some time-killing activities if the West’s second round goes long …)

* – Among other similarities. If Crosby had better injury luck and took his talents to the Florida Panthers, it would get downright creepy.

  1. devilsarethebest - May 25, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Bosh= Iginla.
    Birdman= Dupuis.
    Only question is, is there anyone on the Heat as bad as Fleury?

    • blackhawksdynasty - May 25, 2013 at 11:48 PM

      Second-string water boy maybe?

    • Josh Gibney - May 26, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Or is there anyone on Miami as cheap and dirty a hack as Cooke?

      • jcmeyer10 - May 26, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        DWade, that’s the easiest.

      • basedrum777 - May 29, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        Cooke had as many points as penalty minutes last year. Try again.

      • basedrum777 - May 29, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        Oh and just for comparison:

        Cooke: Points-21 PIM-36
        Lucic: Points-27 PIM-75

        Ignorance is bliss though right?

  2. BlackandGoldMNBruinsFan - May 25, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Did you really say “second banana” in an NBA-referenced article? I’m pretty sure Mike Florio, in his Redskins-induced haze, is going to sue you.

    • 8man - May 26, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      Please, no bananas. I’ve seen enough goals scored because of them.

      Go Bs!

  3. blackhawksdynasty - May 25, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Heat….Yankees….Penguins….few things are as boring as a team that tries to “buy” a championship. I don’t really care for either team, but go Bruins.

    • pens5829 - May 26, 2013 at 6:57 AM

      Isn’t there a “salary cap”?

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - May 26, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        And, when the blackhawks signed Hossa to that 12 year cap circumventing deal back in the summer of 09…..they “bought” themselves a championship.

        It’s a beautiful glass house though…..really it is!!

        BTW, the blackhawks, bruins and kings all contacted calgary about acquiring Iginla as well.

    • sfbookreviews - May 26, 2013 at 7:48 AM

      Oh, let me disabuse you of your ignorance. This may be a little long, so forgive me.

      1) Comparing a team in a league with a hard cap to a team with no cap (Yankees) is lazy, as well as nonsensical.

      2) According to CapGeek, the Pens payroll is 7th highest in the league for the year. Bruins? 9th. Not much of a difference there. Besides, wouldn’t they be 1st or 2nd if they were trying to “buy” a title?

      3) Every team in the league (and in other leagues, especially MLB) with any shot at a playoff spot is involved in trade talks around the deadline. It’s par for the course. So the Pens got a couple of big names. So what? They had 10 million in cap space and it would have been insane for Ray Shero not to try and add some pieces. It would have been a darn good basis for firing him if he didn’t try.

      4) Let’s look at the players the Pens got:

      – First they signed Mark Eaton to a minor-league tryout. Eaton was out the game at the time. Nobody was calling. So, is he part of “buying” a championship? Hardly.
      -They acquire Brenden Morrow, a guy who was relegated to the fourth line of a non-playoff team. And with everyone healthy, he’s on the fourth line in Pittsburgh as well. That’s when he even cracks the lineup. He was 136th in scoring this year.
      -They deal for Douglas Murray. San Jose fans laughed at this one. They couldn’t believe anyone was stupid enough to take a guy who can’t skate. The move was widely panned.
      -They steal Jarome Iginla out from under the Bruins. Five years ago, getting Iggy would have been trying to buy a title. Now? Not so much. He’s a great character guy who can still contribute, but he has seen better days. He was tied for 56th in scoring.
      – Jussi Jokinen, another guy whose team was happy to ship out. So much so that they’re paying part of his salary. 165th in scoring this past year.

      Please tell me how any of those guys can be construed as trying to “buy” a championship. Please, I truly am fascinated to hear your justification.

      The Pens had a few holes. They filled them. Again, just like 20 other teams went out and tried to fill holes. So to lump the flightless birds with the Heat and the Yanks is sports ignorance of the highest order. I have to assume the 14 thumbs up you have at the moment are from Boston fans approving of the “go Bruins” part and not agreement with your poorly thought out comment.

      • sfbookreviews - May 26, 2013 at 8:00 AM

        Forgot to mention since you seem to be a Blackhawks fan that Chicago was 5th in spending (I’ll remind you the Pens are 7th).

      • 8man - May 26, 2013 at 9:11 AM

        Good breakdown. Thank you. Maybe we are suffering from the hype moves made at the deadline can create. The Pens had a good core before they made the moves.

      • valoisvipers - May 26, 2013 at 11:27 AM

        Great post!SFBookreviews

    • tampaskinsfan - May 26, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      Explain to us all how you “buy” a championship with a salary cap. Are you still bitter about going to sleep the night you thought Iginla was a lock just to wake up Christmas morning and find no presents under your tree?

    • jpelle82 - May 26, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      pretty funny coming from a blackhawks fan

      • drone501 - May 26, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        think blackhawk fan left the building

    • jpelle82 - May 26, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      go bruins because you know you cant beat the penguins

    • 2jivecrew - May 26, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      From what I recall the Bruins tried bringing in Iginla. There’s no such thing as a homegrown roster, and there certainly isn’t one in Chicago. Every team tries to “buy” a championship in every sport. Bitter dunderhead.

  4. titansbro - May 25, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Crosby & Lebron are both the best players in their respective sports. But they also both happen to be whiny b###### that get tons of protection from their respective leagues that they don’t need.

    • devilsarethebest - May 25, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      Love how when random member writes this everyone agrees but if this was written by taintedlombardis everyone would bash him the give him thumbs-down. Just strange this site.

      • fbothharbaughs - May 26, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        ’cause everyone on this site knows every time “taintedlombombardis” posts something, one doesn’t even need to read it due to the fact that he’s unable to put forth a cogent, intelligent point, just mere stupidity…

  5. csilojohnson - May 25, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Everyone? Four people have commented.
    Tainted gets a lot of crap because he is a complete moron that has yet to back up any of his hate filled rants with actual fact.

  6. Stiller43 - May 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    How do you buy a championship with a salary cap? Everyone has the same exact opportunity to spend as much as the pens did.

    Sorry they drafted well, and players they traded for wanted to go there for the same money they wouldnt have gotten elsewhere…? Is any team that makes moves at the trade deadline (and thus raising their payroll) trying to “buy” a championship?

    This isnt a yankee’s-pirates situation where the pirates would lose like 200 mil a season with the yankees payroll.

    • devilsarethebest - May 26, 2013 at 12:57 AM

      They only drafted well because they SUCKED for years.

      • dirt2013 - May 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM

        So we can expect the Oilers to be good for years to come then?

      • drone501 - May 26, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        yeah well duh, you idiot. isn’t that the whole idea.

  7. Stiller43 - May 26, 2013 at 12:08 AM


    Idk why you bring him up when he finally isnt making assanine comments, but…

    Seriously? All the article said is that the pens are loaded with talent like the heat are loaded with talent…why even say “ohh durr if the moron said this, you’d all thumb him down!!”

    His comments are nothing but trolling garbage based around 0 facts, even when be tries to make factual arguments. Thats why people respond to him and presumably “thumbs down” him (i have the app, i dont get to see how wildly unpopular his moronic views are).

    • taintedlombardis - May 26, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      I am so in your head.

      • fbothharbaughs - May 26, 2013 at 10:18 AM

        How ’bout those Caps!

  8. kingsforever - May 26, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Stop trying to buy championships…Go Bruins

    • sfbookreviews - May 26, 2013 at 7:54 AM

      See my reply to the other clueless commenter on the “buying a championship” topic.

      I’ll add that the Bruins got Jagr and tried to get Iginla. Had they gotten both, would you be saying this about Boston and ending with “go Pens”? I doubt it. They also traded for Wade Redden. Wait a second, I think they ARE trying to buy a title! Why the nerve!

    • 2jivecrew - May 26, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Says the guy who’s team brought in Richards and Carter last year. Moron.

  9. myroncopesflask - May 26, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    This is the match up most experts wanted to see right? The bruins are the only team that can roll 4 lines with legit NHL players along with the Pens and the Hawks. The thing that makes the pens stand out is that on any given night there are 3 players that do not get a sweater that would be in the top 2 lines or top 3 D pairings on most teams.
    The Pens also are the only team that use the hit Chara every time he touches the puck. The Pens may not be very big in the height weight measurable but if you have watched the Pens/Bruins games over the past two years you know that the big guy does get hit every time he touches the puck and he does not respond well to getting hit often. The man is a beast and has a very unique skill set but nobody in the history of history responds well to getting hit every time they make a move. This series will not be a sweep but it does not go past game 6. If anybody would like to put a little scratch on it please let me know and we can exchange paypal info! 1975

    • devilsarethebest - May 26, 2013 at 12:56 AM

      Sure. I want the Bruins.

      • drone501 - May 26, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        then get in touch with the man. then you will pay the man.

  10. greatusername - May 26, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Technically every professional sports team in the world tries to “buy a championship”. That’s why they pay their guys millions. Pens are just paying the right guys for the best chance at winning a cup. It’s just a great, strategic move at the right time for the right players to maximize talent and opportunity. Any team unwilling to use available money to enhance their squad and increase their opportunity for success isn’t competitive enough to be a professional team. I’m willing to bet that there isn’t a team in the world not trying to “buy a championship”.

  11. rainyday56 - May 26, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    You cannot compare Lebron with Crosby. Lebron never won a championship for the franchise that drafted him. Crosby never deserted the franchise that drafted him – yet. Doesn’t matter how many rings Lebron wins with that trumped squad he is on, they will always carry a taint.

    • spitfisher - May 26, 2013 at 8:11 AM

      Hold it they don’t play defense in the NBA, no comparison can be made between Lebrun and crosby

  12. bobhpine - May 26, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    Hahahaha. I love this notion that the Pens are “buying” a championship. Yeah, that whole salary cap thing doesn’t apply to the Penguins right? How dare they spend right up to the cap. How dare Sidney Crosby take a little less money to give himself a better chance win. The truth is the Pens traded a first, two second round picks, their top Dman prospect, two mid level prospects and took on Jussi Jokinen’s salary for next year in order to win now. Pretty bold moves that will likely sting a little bit in the future since Iggy, Murray, Jokinen and Morrow are all over 30.

    It’s such a stupid thing to say and it’s almost always coming from people who need an excuse for losing.

    A hard cap makes it impossible to buy a cup. Oh yeah…and Pittsburgh isn’t exactly the paradigm for a big market unfairly abusing smaller market clubs because of their deep pockets. Just take your beating and keep your mouth shut. It’s better to be a loser than a stupid loser.

  13. thebigtim2012 - May 26, 2013 at 7:15 AM

    As a Bs’ fan this Is the matchup I wanted

    • 2jivecrew - May 26, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Why? The B’s have had no success against the Pens this season. It’s not a good matchup for the B’s at all. Not saying they can’t win, but it hasn’t been good for your boys up to this point.

  14. titansbro - May 26, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    Personally I don’t call it buying a championship. I hate the Pens but the job of the GM is to assemble the best group of talent possible within the confines of the salary cap. I got no problem with the Pens on that front, hell I’ll even say job well done. That’s a hell of a hockey team. My general point is that Crosby & Lebron are both crybaby dousches. In that way I can absolutely compare them. It’s fact, not opinion.

  15. colossal87 - May 26, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    this is going to be halarius to watch “the franchise” wipe their butt holes with the bruins. pittsburgh strong 2013

    • jmillbpc - May 27, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      Stay classy Tomas

  16. wisdomnfl - May 26, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Lots of hate on this board.

    • drone501 - May 26, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      its only playoff hate. nothing personal.

  17. arbruins - May 26, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Let’s try to remember the year the penguins threw games in order to take dead last and obtain the first round draft choice…which turned out to be Crosby. Lemieux is a dirty, whiney b_ _ _ _ h!

    • fbothharbaughs - May 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      Are all Bruins fans as good at spelling as you, asswipe?

    • drone501 - May 26, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      maybe but hes a helluva lot richer than you and his wife is a helluva lot hotter than your wife, that is if you even have one.

      • 2jivecrew - May 26, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Yeah and i’m sure she’s not completely annoying in the sack either. “aaaaaahhhhhh, LONGAH, HAHDAH, DEEPAH!!!!!!”.

  18. colossal87 - May 26, 2013 at 10:22 AM


  19. cdoyle444cdoyle444 - May 26, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    “colossal87”. That is so disrespectful to Boston. Whether your a Pens fan or simply hate the Bruins making a statement like that is pure asinine. As a Bruins fan and a fellow Bostonian I can’t wait to watch the B’s have a field day with your no name goalie. Linquist played on his head in that series and your 2nd string goalie can’t compare. Stay classy Boston. BOSTON STRONG.

    • billsboy88 - May 26, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      Obv. his stupid comment was made with the intent of getting a reaction out of someone in Boston, which it did. I’m gonna preface all this by saying the marathon bombings were a heinous and unimaginable crime.

      So, from now on, no one mention plane crashes cuz its disrespectful to NYC. No one mention the Redskins cuz its disrespectful to Native Americans. Don’t mention floods cuz its disrespectful to New Orleans. Don’t bring up fires, the Miami Heat or the Calgary Flames cuz it’s disrespectful to Chicago. NASCAR is disrespectful to everyone who ever had a family member die in a car wreck. Don’t celebrate Independence day because it’s disrespectful to people in England whose ancestors died in the revolution.

      Honestly, I can go on and on. I understand you live in Boston and the events of the marathon bombings shook your city to its core. If you were directly related to one of the 3 people killed in the bombing, I can understand your outrage. If your only tie is being one of the 4.5 million people living in the Boston metro area at the time of the bombing, then I don’t get entirely get it. Every day more people in your city die from gun violence than died in the bombings. Where is your outrage toward that? Perhaps we should ban the Call of Duty video game series cuz its disrespectful to everyone who had a loved one die in combat?

      If you want to see some real disrespect, look back at some of the comments directed toward the city of Buffalo. That town takes it on the chin from everyone who knows nothing more about the city than that the sports teams are lousy.

      So, long post short, are you really gonna get all hot and bothered every time some idiot says something remotely demeaning to Boston? Remember the Leafs fan holding up the “Toronto Stronger” banner in the first round? You’re gonna spend a lot of time in your life being angry if you get hot and bothered every time someone says something “disrespectful” about Boston.

      • President Charles Logan - May 26, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        Good post but with all due respect, what does the City of Buffalo offer to its residents for entertainment besides 2 Sports teams?

      • 2jivecrew - May 26, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        Yeah, because Tuuka Rask is what you call a “name goalie”. LOL.

  20. wheelsref58 - May 26, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    The only similarity with the Heat, other than great talent, is that players want to play for the Penguins so they have their best chance to win a championship.

  21. modellforprez - May 26, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    very flattering of Mr.Lucic. as a pen fan i know this series will be memorable. Easily bringing the 2 best the East has to offer. I am picking My pens thats just being a homer. But not so fast 1. i really really like this bruin team. they are very big strong physical and tough to play against. i like their “D” with the big fella and Co. Strong coaching as you rarely see coach Claude get out coached. and lastly Tuuka Rask is a difference maker if there is 1 goalie who can shut down the pens its him. so obvioulsy my pens will need to be at the top of their game. i expect this to go 7 and I will take my pens. but man are Pittsburgh and Boston stacked and ready for an instant classic series. Go get it Boys!!

  22. stephenkjellmanpittsburghfan0001 - May 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    arbruins you might want to do more research. The penguins got Crosby after the lockout year which every team was in a lottery to determine the draft order. It had nothing to do with their record. I am from Pittsburgh and i cheer for the penguins but I also like the Bruins should be a good competative series.

  23. colossal87 - May 26, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    the city of boston is weak. PITTSBURGH STRONG

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