Milan Lucic, probably more than anyone else in the Bruins dressing room, is a student of the game. He knows the game’s history, he knows the stats, and the historical standing of those who came before him is not lost on the Boston forward.
That’s why it was so special for Lucic to meet with B’s legend Ray Bourque this past season. Bourque, whose No. 77 hangs from the rafters at TD Garden, is often still in the area and is still closely associated with the club. This spring, he met with Lucic to give the power forward a little bit of advice about how to be an even better pro.
“It was big for me,” Lucic told The Province. “It was Ray Bourque saying how he approached the game. Here’s a guy, the highest-scoring defenseman of all time, not caring about the Norris trophies he’s won. He just wanted to be better tomorrow than he was today.”
Lucic’s 2013 season was filled with inconsistency to the point that he was actually a healthy scratch late in the season. After scoring just seven goals to along with 20 assists in 46 regular-season games, Lucic scored seven goals with 12 assists in 22 playoff games. You could certainly see how the conversation with Bourque might have made a difference.
Those words won’t soon leave Lucic, who will be looking to have a much better 2013-14 season with training camp just around the corner.
“He said that when guys would tell him, ‘You’re the best,’ or ‘Look at your stats,’ he always said to himself, ‘Whatever,’ about what happened,” Lucic told The Province. “He said that he wanted to be the best he could until he stopped playing — and then he would look back at what he had accomplished.”
If Lucic can adopt that mindset and apply it for an entire season, the rest of the league might be in trouble.