Tonight marks the first time the Bruins will face the Montreal Canadiens since being eliminated by the Habs in the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. While rivalry games are always exciting, there is a little extra hype surrounding tonight’s game – mostly thanks to Milan Lucic’s parting words to the Canadiens’ Dale Weise and Alexei Emelin this past may.
While fans are expecting an intense matchup, Lucic is simply worried about his own game. Lucic hasn’t exactly been stellar in the Bruins’ first few games, recovering from a wrist injury and playing with different linemates nearly every game. The return of David Krejci helped ease the team back into things a bit as they broke their three-game losing streak on Wednesday night, beating the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout. Rather than follow through with his handshake line promises, Lucic wants to focus on bettering his play.
“I mean, right now I’ve got zero points and I’m -1, so I’m more worried about winning a game and producing,” Lucic said, when asked about the carryover to tonight’s game from the playoffs.
While the media and fans alike sensationalized the words exchanged in the handshake line, it seems that Dale Weise feels the same way as Lucic about tomorrow night’s game. When asked about Lucic’s comments, Weise simply laughed the question off.
“What situation are you talking about? I saw [Lucic] on an Off the Record clip [on TSN],” Weise said. “I thought he was pretty funny talking about it on TV. It just got blown way out of proportion.”
Weise agrees that the focus of tonight’s game should be adding a point to their win column, rather than making the game about the Habs-Bruins rivalry. “I don’t see it being the case tomorrow,” Weise said. “The media kind of blows things up a bit, the games have a hard time living up to that.”
It also seems that the mixed feelings surrounding Lucic’s comments didn’t extend to the rest of the Canadiens. Brendan Gallagher can understand where Lucic’s frustration came from.
“He’s very intense and he wants to win,” Gallagher said. “He plays with an edge and sometimes he goes over a bit, but he has to play that way to be successful.”
Lucic thinks that if the team keeps their noses to the grindstone, they’ll see more games end in their favor. “You see, when we play determined to win, and when we focus on just playing a hard, heavy game, it gives us success," He said.
Regardless of whether or not either side feeds into the rivalry, tonight's game should be intense - and not one to miss.
Talk hockey with us. Follow @ryescaf and the rest of the team @BruinsLife.