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Lucic Voted League Tough Guy

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins – The Boston Bruins pride themselves on their physical play, and they’re not afraid to stick up for each other.

It’s the rough and tough motto that bounces around the locker room that the Bruins live by – and the rest of the league thinks one player in particular stands out.

The NHLPA poll was released Sunday, and 20 percent of the players voted that forward Milan Lucic is the toughest player in the league.

“It’s good to hear that,” Lucic said before Sunday’s game. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the people around the league as being a tough player. For myself, you take a lot of pride in that just because of the way I play and have to keep that up.”

In 56 games this season, Lucic’s 20 goals are tied with Tyler Seguin for the team lead, and his 109 penalty minutes are second only to Shawn Thornton (122).

When pressed on what makes him so tough to play against, Lucic said he just likes to maintain a physical edge throughout the game.

But he was also quick to credit his entire team with maintaining the tough mentality.

“Getting in on forechecks and playing hard, and having to back up my teammates and myself when I have to,” Lucic said when describing his game. “It’s not just me, I think our whole team does a great job of that and its great I got recognized out of the whole group for that.

Contrary to what the league had to say, Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly had his own perspective on his teammate.

“I’m surprised – he’s not that tough,” Kelly joked.

After flashing a smile, Kelly gave a more serious opinion on Lucic and said he deserved the recognition.

“I don’t think there’s too many guys that can skate like he does, score like he does and fights like he does,” Kelly said. “He fights all the tough guys – he does it all.”

Along with Lucic, forward Patrice Bergeron was recognized as the league’s most underrated player, while captain Zdeno Chara was recognized as being the hardest defenseman to play against and having the hardest shot.

--- Anthony Gulizia
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