BostonBruins.com – Milan Lucic vividly remembers his rookie season when the Boston Bruins returned to the playoffs for the first time in two seasons, only to be eliminated in the first round against the Montreal Canadiens.
When the Washington Capitals eliminated the Bruins in the first round this season, the same feelings were brought back – the only difference (a big one) being that they were the defending Stanley Cup champions.
“Last time I was a rookie and we just fought so hard to make the playoffs and it was the first taste of playoff hockey in Boston for a couple of years so it was a lot of fun and you wanted to do whatever you can to keep that going and move forward,” Lucic said.
“And I think it’s definitely the same feeling now as obviously you’re disappointed you didn’t get to move on. I think going in the future, [it] definitely gives you, I guess that extra motivation, that extra drive to keep it going and to try and relive that feeling that we had here [last season].”
Ultimately, Lucic said he felt as if the team gave 100 percent in the series against Washington. However, he added that at times it was tough to conjure the desperation the team displayed during the 2011 Cup run.
“I truly believe that we were trying, that we did everything we possibly could and we did leave it all out there,” Lucic said. “I don’t think there’s any regrets there.”
“But maybe looking back, there might not have been that desperation or that killer instinct that we had in the past. Even earlier on you look at our team and how we were in November and December, it seemed like after that Christmas break we weren’t able to, I guess, get that desperation or any of that back in our game and it ultimately hurt us in the end.”
After the team’s loss to the Capitals, Lucic was also pressed about his own performance during the team’s breakup day Friday, April 27.
In the seven games played, Lucic had just three assists and last season he finished the 25-game Cup run with five goals and seven assists.
Prior to the last two seasons, Lucic particularly thrived in the playoffs, as he scored nine points (3 G, 6 A) in just nine games played in 2009 and nine points (5 G, 4 A) in 12 games played in 2010.
“Maybe I put too much pressure on myself or something like that, but definitely not happy with the way that I’ve played in the playoffs and hopefully I can figure that out” Lucic said.
“I definitely have a lot of time here to think about it in the summer here so like I said think about it, try to figure out to get back to that playoff player that I used to be.”