BOSTON, MA — Milan Lucic has worn his love of Boston and the Bruins on his sleeve for some time and although he wasn't yet wearing a Black & Gold jersey, on Monday it was very clear as to his heart's desire.
"I can’t wait," said Lucic in anticipation of hitting the TD Garden ice. "That’s something that I think all of us have been looking forward to - getting back out there.
"You miss it when something like this goes on…and especially us as players, we appreciate the fan support we have here in Boston, they’re one of the best in the world when it comes to hockey and we thrive off their support, we thrive on their energy.
"They were huge for us through our Cup run in 2011, so I hope to see them all back," he said after an informal skate at Boston University.
Always a fan of the game, Lucic clearly relishes the opportunity to return to action, even in a short season.
"It’s going to be awesome," said Milan. "With less games it becomes a sprint right away and every game means so much more.
"You can’t afford to have a start like we had last year, so we’re not in position to have to play catch up like we did last season. Hopefully, we find a way to maintain throughout the whole year.
"I’m definitely looking forward to it…[and] I’m sure every team and every player is feeling excited and good heading into this season," he said.
Going into the 2012-13 campaign Lucic also feels pretty good about the Bruins chances.
"I know I have a lot of confidence in my teammates and myself and I think we have a lot to look forward to heading into this year," said Lucic. "I think every team is in the same boat right now.
"I know on our team, what were we, the third most for guys going over to play [in Europe], so a lot of our players were active and have been playing."
And now that he and his teammates are gathering together in Boston, Lucic is preparing to step into action soon.
"We can practice as much as we want. We can play shinny as much as we want but there’s aspects of the game that’s not there," said Lucic. "The stopping and starting, the little details, the battling in the corners.
"So, you know, for guys like myself, hopefully it won’t take that much time and we can shake the rust off right away."