Vulgar Opinions: Milan Lucic – All Bark And No Bite
A few months ago I made the observation that the Bruins might be a fairly intimidating team with Chara, Lucic, and Thornton, but I don’t think they’re actually all that tough. Then the NHL decided to prove me right as teams took turns putting a hurting on the Bruins. Now I’m turning my focus onto one of those players, a guy who I think gets far more credit as a “tough guy” than he actually deserves.
I’m talking about Milan Lucic, runner of goaltenders, sucker puncher of guys after the whistle from behind an official. Milan Lucic is widely regarded as one of the scariest human beings on the ice sans gloves. Meh. I think he’s average, having made a history of either fighting guys smaller than himself, or guys that aren’t typical fighters.
If you look back three seasons Milan Lucic’s average opponent is 1.3 inches shorter, 11 pounds lighter, and averages 9 fights a year. Not exactly elite NHL enforcing talent. The only two players that Lucic has fought that are actually bigger than himself in that span (Carkner and Komisarek, both this season) have a grand total of four fights to their names in the 2011-2012 campaign. The only enforcer Lucic has squared off against this season is Brandon Prust (19 fights this season), who is dwarfed by Lucic by 4 inches and 36 pounds.
Not that I can blame Lucic, the last time he tried to hold his own against larger, more experienced fighters was 2009-2010 when he fought Jared Boll, Adam Mair, and Colton Orr (who Lucic still has by an average of 1.67″ and 9 pounds). According to Hockey Fights, Lucic lost all three of those fights. Peep his bout against Orr and you’ll learn why he doesn’t pick on anyone his own size anymore:
I think if the teams that have the size to stand up to Lucic actually do so, he’ll fold like a lawn chair.