As I thought/predicted/hoped, Milan Lucic, unburdened of the need to be a Big Bad Bruin, and to sate the bloodlust of Jackass Edwards, pretty much stuck to hockey last night. He was a beast on the boards and in front of the net, but when the whistle blew he stopped playing, didn’t try to push anything.
Pierre Houde noted with some surprise how his first collision with Alexei Emelin didn’t come before the third period. In previous games, he sought out Alexei to lay a beating on him, and it got him off his game, made him take stupid penalties.
Also in the third, Dale Weise hit him from 3/4 behind, pushing him down at the foot of the boards. He got up and turned around to see who’d hit him, with murder in his eyes, and saw it was Dale. After a second or so, you could see him make the decision to keep playing, and at worst file this away for future reference, instead of trying, as he did before as a Bruin, to avenge an affront to his toughness and manliness.
So it’s as I thought, and have posted before. If Milan Lucic had been a Canadien, and had had guys like John Ferguson and Larry Robinson as paragons of toughness to emulate, he would have been a very tough and mean player who concentrated on hockey. His worst impulses would have been quelled, discouraged, instead of fanned into a brighter, hotter flame. He would have been idolized as much as P.K. if he wore bleu-blanc-rouge.
Instead, he landed in Boston, a marriage seemingly made in heaven, but it’s actually the opposite, like your buddy who loves the bar scene and partying and ends up being a bartender. What looks like the perfect job is the top of a slippery slope.