WILMINGTON — After skating with the healthy scratches in Thursday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, Bruins forward Milan Lucic  said he wouldn’t blame Claude Julien  for making him a healthy scratch.
“Nope. Nope. I wouldn’t blame anyone but myself. If that’s what needs to be done in order to get myself going, I’m for what’s best for the team and not best for myself,” Lucic said. “Like I said, I want to be a part of the team. I want to be better. I want to contribute. I know I can be a big part of the team. Ultimately it all comes down to myself, so there’s no one to blame but myself.”
Lucic has only six goals this season and is about to begin a three-year, $18 million deal next season that will make him the highest-paid forward on the Bruins. For whatever reason, he hasn’t looked like the 30-goal scorer he was two seasons ago or the premier power forward that warranted the big payday, as he’s scored just twice over his last 27 games. Julien admitted Thursday that he might indeed scratch the star forward.
“You saw where he was this morning and it indicates that he may not play tomorrow,” Julien said. “But I haven’t decided that yet.’
Lucic said Thursday his confidence is the lowest it’s been since his the 2009-10 season, when he had nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points and a minus-7 in 50 games of an injury-plagued season.
“It’s not where it was two years ago or last year,” Lucic, who has just two goals over the last 27 games, said. “It’s almost back to where it was at year three when things are just not gong the way you want them to go. Enough with the excuses. You can’t just keep making excuses and saying all these things and pointing fingers and stuff like that. You’ve got to work yourself through it.”
Said Julien: ‘I don’t know what it is. But we all know he’s struggling right now. He obviously knows that. We’ve had our chats about his game for a while now. He’s really trying to turn the corner but doesn’t seem to be able to. So as a coach, you’re trying to help him through that stuff. A big portion of it’s going to have to come from him, obviously. We can support him and give him opportunities but at the end of the day you have to be able to step up there. And he knows he’s not, it’s not a secret, I don’t think to anybody. But we also know what he’s done for this team in the past and what he’s capable of doing. And you’ve just got to hope that this player finds his game because we’re going to need him.’
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