When the LA Kings head to the Garden on Tuesday night, it will be a familiar, yet new experience for one player in particular. For the first time in his career, Milan Lucic will take to the ice at TD Garden as a visitor.
After being selected 50th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Lucic spent one final year in the WHL before earning a spot with the B’s in 2007. His work ethic and sheer toughness quickly turned him into a fan-favorite among Bruins Nation, as he would not back down from any challenge. Every time he dropped the gloves, threw a big hit, or scored a goal, chants of “LOOOOOOOOOOOOCH” would rain down from the rafters, becoming a staple of the Garden experience.
The Vancouver, British Columbia native went on to develop into one of the top power forwards in the NHL, making sure every player on every team knew his name.
During his time in Boston, Looch played in a total of 662 games in the regular season in playoffs, racking up 165 goals and 238 assists for 403 points, while accumulating 927 penalty minutes.
Among those stats were plenty of memorable moments that still come up in conversation to this day. So, without further ado, here are some of Milan Lucic’s top moments (in no particular order) while dawning the Spoked-B.
The Ryan Miller Incident
When the #17 train is picking up speed, get off the tracks. Ryan Miller learned this lesson the hard way. Following the game, Miller was not happy to say the least, calling Lucic “gutless,” and a “piece of shit.” I think it’s safe to say that Looch has not received a Christmas card from the Millers since.
Taunting Alex Burrows during the Stanley Cup Final
The Bruins did not take it too well when Alex Burrows bit Patrice Bergeron’s finger during the 2011 Final. Lucic took matters into his own hands, punching that coward in the head before offering up his fingers as a snack.
Game 7 Comeback
Milan Lucic does not get nearly enough credit for his performance in the third period of game 7 against Toronto in 2013. When the Bruins fell behind 4-1, Lucic was an absolute monster, simply not accepting their seemingly destined fate. He was all around the puck, skating hard, and forechecking even harder. Big number 17 assisted on Horton’s goal, and scored to pull them within one, setting the stage for Bergy to seal the deal.
Chris Neil’s Face Gets Turned into a Bloody Mess
One of the reasons Looch was so beloved in Boston was his willingness to stand up for his teammates, even in the preseason. In this instance, Ottawa Senators’ resident tough guy Chris Neil landed a hit on Marc Savard (crying face emoji) that Lucic did not like. They settled things at the next puck drop, with the bout ending poorly for Neil, who ended up getting his face split open.
This hit will go down in Bruins history as one of the most brutal. Sometimes hits cause the glass to break or fall out of place, but not EXPLODE like it did on this collision. The dramatic scene of Mike Van Ryn nearly ending up in the crowd with glass pouring down will not soon be forgotten. Luckily no one was seriously hurt.
30 Goal Season
Looch isn’t solely a physical force on the ice. In addition to the physicality, he played top line minutes alongside David Krejci, and had his most productive season in 2010-2011 when he scored 30 goals.
The Mike Komisarek Trilogy
For some reason, Milan Lucic and Mike Komisarek absolutely hated one another. Give credit to Komisarek for being brave enough to continuously square off against Lucic, but time and time again, he would get his ass handed to him on a silver platter.
First Fight at the Garden
What a way to introduce yourself to the fans. In Looch’s first-ever regular season game at the Garden, the then 19-year-old dropped the gloves with Tampa Bay’s Nick Tarnasky and beat the piss out of him, proving himself to be the real deal. P.S.- Thank god he stopped wearing #62. What a strange number.
Good times, Looch. Thanks for everything.
[Header photo via bruins.nhl.com, Stanley Cup photo via chinadaily.com]