Milan Lucic could return to the Bruins lineup on Monday against the Hurricanes at TD Garden. If he does, it will be his first game action since last week in Pittsburgh, a game in which the winger suffered an “undisclosed injury” that has forced him to miss the last three games.
If Lucic is healthy — not only physically, but mentally — following a rough stretch in which he has only one point since Dec. 18, the Bruins may start finally clicking on all cylinders with their forward lines.
In the past week alone, Claude Julien has shuffled his lines, to not only account for injuries like the ones Lucic and before him, Nathan Horton, have suffered, but also to jump start an offense that has been all-too-often dormant at times. Julien’s juggling will likely continue as Marc Savard continues to find his legs and his offensive game as he continues his journey back to complete health.
But of those three forwards — Lucic, Horton and Savard — the Bruins need Lucic to step up and help the team establish an identity offensively to achieve more consistency.
Lucic has obviously struggled this season offensively, but if he can get things going, it should trickle down. One of the biggest reasons for the offensive inconsistency stems from line inconsistency. With Lucic producing the way he can, Julien’s job will only be made easier when putting his lines together every night.
The Bruins also need Lucic to be the power forward he’s often touted as. Now, with his injury hopefully something of the past, the Bruins need Lucic to get back to his physical style of play. He’s at his best when he’s mean, and that’s something that’s come and gone far too sporadically this season.
Lucic can be the heart and soul of this team. Patrice Bergeron has stepped up immensely in the past couple of weeks as Lucic and Horton have skidded some, and as Savard works his way back. But for the Bruins to establish some consistency, they need Milan Lucic to play up to the lofty expectations that he’s earned in flashes of great play over the past few years.
The B’s are ready to take it to the next level. Lucic can be the guy to propel them there.
Which Bruins forward needs to step up the most to help the Bruins sustain some consistency? Share your thoughts below.
Saturday, Jan. 15: Which player’s injury has affected the Bruins the most this season?