In 2010-2011, Bruins forward Milan Lucic had his best season of his career. The Vancouver, British Columbia native had a career high 30 goals and 32 assists..
Lucic’s physical play stayed the same with his offensive surge. No. 17 spent 121 minutes in the penalty box, which is his second highest total in his four-year career.
Coming into the playoffs, expectations were high for the six-foot-three forward, but through five playoff games Lucic has been a “no-show”.
In the first four games of the series you couldn’t find Lucic’s name anywhere on the score sheet.
Game 5 was a step in the right direction for the fan favorite. Lucic had a team high eight shots on goal and assisted on Nathan Horton’s double-overtime game winning goal.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien found Lucic’s play as a positive.
“I think Milan played a better game [on Saturday],” said Julien. “It’s encouraging. His line did a little bit better and they still have much potential to improve. A guy like Lucic is a big element for us on the ice, and he must continue to find ways to impose himself.”
Last playoff season, Lucic played in 13 games for the Bruins and tallied nine points (five goals). Lucic was also a force with his physical play. The Bruins need that Lucic to find his game, and find it fast.
David Krejci and Horton, who play along Milan Lucic on the Bruins top-line, have also struggled this series; Julien also saw some promise from them in Game 5.
“Well obviously it was a lot better last game and the encouraging part is I still l think that line has even more to give, and that is encouraging,” said Julien. “I thought they played a decent game last game and they were much better than they had been early in the series.” Julien stated.
With just four combined points from the Bruins top line, they still hold a 3-2 series lead. The B’s can survive the first series without their three top forwards producing, but how much further can they go after that? Only time will tell.