Lucic on D&H: ‘You can’t be intimidated’
|05.04.10 at 2:57 pm ET|
Bruins forward Milan Lucic joined the Dale & Holley show Tuesday afternoon to discuss the B’s 3-2 win over the Flyers on Monday night. Lucic scored the game-winner with 2:57 left in the third period, sending the Bruins to Philadelphia with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal showdown. Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, click on the Dale and Holley audio on demand page.
So you picked that corner, took the shot, and knew exactly where it was going, right?
Exactly, and it’s easy to pick them when the puck is bouncing like that, too.
I said the same thing about Savard’s goal in Game 1, it was bouncing around and he tucked it in then top corner.
Yeah, it’s weird, both game-winning goals so far, the puck was in the air, landed, and we caught it on the first bounce. Those are real hard shots for goalies to read because they don’t really know where it’s going to go, and for us, as players, those are the ones we just have to get on net, and sometimes they find a way and find a hole.
So was that the plan — just get it on net and maybe something will happen?
Yeah, to be honest, I didn’t really have a play, because [Miroslav Satan] and [David Krecji] were kind of covered by the defensemen there, and both our D-men were kind of covered, so I thought if I could just shoot it and get it past the first man, then I had a chance.
How much time do you spend thinking about your regular season. It wasn’t up to your standards. What was your assessment of it?
Well, obviously it didn’t go too well with the injuries and whatnot. And having to battle with this high-ankle sprain is the toughest thing that I’ve ever been through physically and mentally, and I think that’s where it drained me the most, and that’s why it effected my game in the regular season and took me so long to get going. I think anyone who’s ever had this high-ankle sprain will say the same thing, it’s one of the toughest injuries to come back from, especially in hockey, and obviously that’s what affected me the most. And you can never be happy with the regular season and the way things went for me, but not thinking about that too much right now, just focusing on the game tomorrow.
I love this line combination — you, Krecji, Satan — for the most part, you do the dirty work, and they’re going to find a way to tuck it.
Exactly, and they’ve found their game too these last three games, and being able to contribute. They are, like you said, gifted players, but also, they do a good job of keeping things simple and making strong plays, and I think that’s where my game comes into effect and playing with them, and we have to keep that up of playing with confidence.
I have to be honest, when [Peter] Chiarelli went out, signing Satan, a guy working out on Long Island, skating with pro guys who didn’t have jobs — I didn’t think much of it. But now you see what he had in mind.
I mean, he’s a goal-scorer. He’s proven that his whole career, and if you look at his playoff stats, they’re pretty good, too. He plays big in big games, contributes when he needs to, and that’s what we need him to do. Like you said, that’s the reason why Peter brought him here, to score goals, and that’s what he’s doing right now.
You guys have been a different team since mid-March. If you had to narrow it down to one thing, the resurgence, what would it be?
I think if you look back at that Pittsburgh game where we lost at home 3-0, I think everyone on the team was pissed off at the effort and how things were going, we were fighting for a playoff spot, and things weren’t going too well at that that time. And then we went to play Atlanta in Atlanta where we were tied with them, and we knew this was the time where if we wanted to make the playoffs, we could turn things around. And coming out with that 4-0 win in Atlanta, since then we’ve never worked back.
You know what these guys’ reputations are — the Flyers, guys like [Daniel] Carcillo and [Scott] Hartnell — is there much to an intimidation factor at this point for any team?
Well, I mean, only thing is, we know they’re going to come hard and play hard, and you can take it any way you want. You can be intimidated by them or you can just play against them, and I think we’ve done a good job just playing against them. We don’t expect them to do any less going into tomorrow night’s game, we expect this actually to push that intensity up and that emotion up onto a whole new level, because we know they’re a great hockey club, and those two guys are intimidating guys, but they are also good hockey players who can make you pay on the score sheet too, they’re going to come out hungrier than they ever have so far in this series, and they’re going to push to make this series 2-1.
I’m sure the Flyers are going to make this interesting for the Bruins, but for you specifically, what is your number one challenge when facing the Flyers?
Well for myself individually, I have to keep things simple, and try to create a presence every time I’m out there on the ice, by being physical and being hard on the puck, and making good, strong plays. But as a team, it’s dangerous if we start thinking we’re going to win this series, when we shouldn’t be thinking like that at all, we have to thinking about tomorrow night, and that’s the only thing that should be on our minds right now, getting that win tomorrow night and having a good first strong shift.
Does last year stick with you at all, is there any motivation from losing to the Hurricanes last year?
Definitely, obviously we weren’t happy with the result after that series, and we still have that bitter taste in our mouths, not coming through in that series. We had home-ice advantage in that one also, and losing game two was a big downfall for us, and then going into Carolina, they came out and played real well in one of those two games, so, going into last night, we knew we didn’t want to make the same mistake and take full advantage of our home-ice advantage, and we did that. And moving forward, like I said, we can’t think too far ahead right now, we can’t be thinking Eastern Conference finals at all, that’s not the way our mindset is right now, we’re thinking of just doing what we have to do to win Game 3.
Be honest with me — how the hell old is Mark Recchi?
He’s 42. He sure doesn’t play like it or look like it, so he’s doing pretty good.
He doesn’t look it. Based on what I’ve seen, he wants to keep playing next year, and I want him to.
Me too. The thing that I like about his game the most is that he competes night in and night out, and I think that’s the reason why he’s still so effective, is that he’s still got that competiveness in him, he’s still got that fire lit under his bum there, so if he if he keeps that up, he’s effective every night.
What did you think about Game 1 — the Hollywood story, with not only overtime, not only do you win it, but Marc Savard scores the winner. What did you think of that?
Well, obviously you couldn’t have scripted it any better then him getting that overtime goal. Obviously, he’s had a rough road all season as well, with all his injuries and whatnot. But for him to pounce on that puck and make it count when we needed it the most, it’s just a great feeling for all of us toward him, and obviously you could see how excited he was after the game.
Why is there no fighting in the playoffs?
I wish I had an answer for you. I think being smart in picking your spots, I think. Everything is so critical here, every second, every minute played is so critical, and to be out for five minutes sitting in the penalty box, you’re not really helping your team win.
What do you think of Daniel Carcillo as a player?
I like him, actually. Obviously, I don’t like playing against him because he does get in your face and he plays hard every night. But he also can contribute when he puts his mind to it.
There was an article that said Mike Richards told Savard that “you were out for six weeks, we’ll put you out for six more.” Did you hear any type of talk like that during the game — and is it at all unusual?
I personally didn’t hear that, but it’s just what’s said on the ice. It’s that heat of the moment type of things; it’s expected in the playoffs, they’re going to go after him, even if he wasn’t out for six weeks, they’d go to go at him hard. It’s just that chirping on the ice that happens day in, day out, it’s nothing new.
Do you chirp at all?
I’m mostly quiet out there, I only chirp when I need to.
I was just wondering, because after Carcillo had that altercation with Begin, he went and sat down — and he was obviously chatting with someone on your bench — I was just wondering if that was you, or Thornton, or who was it?
I think it was Thornton, he always has a few words to say to an opponent, and he’s pretty good at it, so he’s never short for words, that’s for sure.
I like the way Begin responded in the first period the way he did. You have to pick your spots, but you also can’t let Carcillo think they can go around running guys.
Like you said, you have to pick your spot, and it was a good time for him to do that, and respond to something like that. And obviously he didn’t like the hit, and he went about it the right way, he didn’t hit him with the stick in the face or anything like that. It was just a solid cross-check. He deserved the two minutes that he got, but he responded and he just wanted to show that he wasn’t going to get pushed around.
I asked [Zdeno] Chara, I’ll ask you. What are the home crowds doing for the home team right now?
They’re been awesome. They’ve been real good to us so far throughout the playoffs, and I think that’s a big reason we’ve been so successful at home so far in the playoffs. So, fans, you’ve been great for us, and keep it up.