It’s pretty hard to imagine Cam Neely not loving the idea of Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton as the wingers on the Bruins’ top line. Both are big, strong, and can score goals, and those qualities were on display in Saturday night’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Panthers.
Though the first thing one might think of regarding either of the two on Saturday was Horton’s second-period goal, the chemistry that is forming between the two on the ice might be worth taking a closer look at. Take the first period for example. Triston Grant was looking for somebody to spar with. After getting a little chippy with Horton, he got his guy: Lucic.
The left-winger lost his helmet but won the fight as he and Grant — teammates for a game in 2004-05 on the Vancouver Giants — dropped the gloves with 2:38 to go in the first period. He cited both the game “lacking a little big of emotion” and Grant’s pestering Horton as reasons to show the fans at TD Garden a familiar sight. Horton wasn’t surprised to see his new teammate stick up for him early.
“Well, he’s the ultimate hockey player,” Horton said. “He can do everything. It’s pretty amazing just to watch him. He fights, he hits, he scores. He’s a pretty good players and, obviously, he’s a nice guy too.”
The two players bring a similar style of play as gritty goal-scorers. From what Lucic had to say, it seems he feels the two may need to work on complementing one another rather than always doing the same thing.
“Our job as wingers, we’ve got to take care of the boards and make good strong plays,” Lucic said. “When we do get into the offensive zone we’ve got to establish that forecheck and make strong plays down low. You know, we are both willing to do it, so we’ve got to step back and let the guy do his job. We’ve got to be smart about that, and get in to high slot there and get a good shot off so I think that is going to take a little bit of time to find that chemistry.”