"They’re obviously doing a good job in their defensive zone play and they’re making it real tough on us," said Milan Lucic
, who spoke to reporters on his way to the airport to catch Bear Force One. "That’s something that we’re going to have to find a way to battle through.
"The good thing is, it’s still 1-1, there’s a lot of hockey left to play in this series and it’s up to us to kind of kick it into gear and find ways to battle through their tight defensive checking and create opportunities for us."
The phrase "create opportunities" is one that has been used frequently enough through the first two games of the Bruins first round series with Washington, as Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter's system has given the heretofore high-flying DC club a grinding, stingy quality, which has created problems for the Bruins.
"It’s a mindset," said Lucic. "We want to win those battles and we’re going to come out with the puck and when we get it we are going to make good strong plays and make the most of it."
Lucic has become one of several faces of the B's franchise. And, thanks to his rough and tumble mode of play, carries the mantle of Bruins President Cam Neely's no-holds-barred approach to his role as one of the NHL's preeminent power forwards. As such, the left wing has taken the B's less than potent play in the playoffs to heart.
I want to be better and I’m going to do everything I can to help this team win. - Lucic
Asked if this years first round is reminiscent of lean times at the beginning of last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, Lucic said, "a little bit for myself.
"Looking back at that series I wasn’t really able to get anything going in the first two games and I feel like I haven’t really gotten anything going here in the first two games as well," said Lucic. "It’s not I’m like trying not to do anything, but in saying that you've got to put pressure on yourself to want to be better.
"I want to be better and I’m going to do everything I can to help this team win."
Lucic wasn't alone in pointing the blame at the guy in the mirror, and those Bruins who met with the media on Sunday (forwards Brad Marchand
, Rich Peverley
and Tyler Seguin
) all made sure to shoulder a share of the blame as they talked about the series.
But Milan seemed to carry a larger weight on his big frame as he spoke, and even his trademark wide smile in front of the cameras couldn't hide how determined he really is to help regain the momentum of the series for the Black & Gold.
"It’s tied 1-1 now it’s gone to a best of five instead a best of seven," said Lucic. "So, I mean...we’ve been in worse situations; In situations last year, but that’s [in the past]. whatever happened last year is last year and whatever is happening this year is this year.
"We are looking forward to the challenge ahead that’s coming up in Game 3," continued Lucic. "We’re not looking at anything past that.
"So, obviously we know that we want to play better and I think everyone here is kind of on that same page that we are going to do whatever we can to play better," he said.