Boston, MA -- Sunday morning, while the bus sat idling and the rest of the Boston Bruins began to arrive for their trip to the airport, rookie Milan Lucic stood by himself, the last of Boston's rookie forwards to remain with the squad. Today he will travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia to take on the Montreal Canadiens at the Metro Centre.
Standing there, Lucic looked pretty deep in thought, but when someone mentioned the Habs, Lucic got pretty animated and said, "It doesn't get much better than this."
No, it doesn't -- unless it's the regular season. But obviously Bruins versus Canadiens is always special, even if it is being played at a neutral site (with the B's acting as the home team).
On Saturday after the game, a tired, but satisfied looking Lucic recounted his day and his first game at the TD Banknorth Garden.
"Today I was a little more nervous out there," admitted the forward, between bites of pizza. "Playing in front of the home crowd…was obviously a lot of fun."
It was fun to watch the big winger bang around out there, as well. His coach certainly noticed his play in front of the net.
"We're evaluating players," said Julien in response to questions about the team's loss in their third preseason contest. "We're still at that stage."
What was Julien's evaluation of Lucic?
"I guess that's the big question right now," said Coach. "Everyone is getting a little tease.
"When you look at Bobby Allen's power play goal, he did such a great job bringing the winger down with him that he opened the lane for Bobby to get that pass from Phil and score that goal.
"But you know, you just have to keep evaluating this guy…and I guess we'll find out what he can do as he gets to play against tougher lineups."
For his part, Lucic is just enjoying the ride.
"I just (tried) to calm down and stick with what I've been doing," said Milan. "After the first period I feel like I got going and our line got going.
"(But Sunday's) another day...I just have to keep getting better and better if I want to stick around."
Lucic is going to take some advice from another Boston Bruins power forward.
"Before the warm up, I saw Cam (Neely) walking through the dressing room," said Lucic. "He gave me a little tap and told me just to play my game out there."
Young Milan would be wise to do just that.
After all, he wouldn't want to disobey Cam, would he?