|Boston Bruins' Milan Lucic, right, reacts after a Boston goal, as Washington Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) and Capitals' John Carlson (74) react during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) |
"That's the type of mentality that you want to have as a team -- no matter who you're playing, you're going to play the same way every game," said Milan Lucic
. "Having that mindset every night, day-in and day-out, is the challenge.
"We've done a pretty good job of rising up to the occasion, and every game thus far have been pretty big games.
"[The Sabres] are going to be a desperate hockey club trying to do whatever they can to turn their season around and we have to do whatever we can to keep our season going," he said.
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien talked about his club's attitude going into tonight's game.
"I think more or less you want to take care of yourself," said Julien. "Every day, you look around the league and you look at the scores an there's always a surprise team in there that beat a really good team and nobody expected that to happen,
"You've got to take care of yourself, and you've got to make sure you have no regrets. You can't come out of a game and say, 'Oh, I wish I was better prepared.'
"You look at all the games as important games that could go either way, and you prepare yourself accordingly," he said.
Julien also said that this season Lucic is proving himself accordingly.
"I think his feet are moving a lot better," said Julien. "He's playing with a better edge, and that's helped his overall game."
"We've talked about it as players," said Lucic of this year's attitude around the locker room. "It can come from the coach all the time, but sometimes it's got to come from within.
"You know, if we are able to realize that early and know what we have to do, night-in and night-out and bring that same kind of fire, then that's what is going to make us a great hockey club.
"If we want to make that next step that we've been talking about this summer, during preseason and leading up to the season, these are the type of games where you're going to show that you are the better team," he said.
And Lucic doesn't see the Sabres as a bad team.
"They're not losing because of a lack of talent," said Lucic. "Maybe things aren't clicking right for them to start off [the year].
"That's why you can't take [any] game lightly at all.
"They have guys that could break out at any moment," added Milan. "That's why we have to make sure all 20 guys are ready to go tonight."
Lucic is certainly ready to go. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound power forward has regained his own scoring touch and enjoys a 4-4-8 line through eight games.
"I feel great and I am having a lot of fun going to the rink," said Lucic. "I'm excited when I am around the boys and ready to go play and I'm excited when I am on the ice.
"I'm loving the game right now and it's a special feeling.
"And I think that's the reason why I've been able to have success as in individual," he said.