Cam Neely On Felger & Mazz: Milan Lucic Needs To Initiate Physical Play To Get His Game Back

Boston Bruins President Cam Neely joined Felger and Massarotti to talk some B’s, the upcoming playoffs, the development of Carl Soderberg, the struggles of Milan Lucic, and the Boston Marathon Bombings.

With the playoffs approaching, how does Neely feel about the team? Can teams just turn it on because it’s playoff time?

How important is it for the Bruins to have the No. 2 seed in the playoffs?

“It’s right there for the taking, so we might as well go after it and take it. On the flipside, if we feel like somebody may need a breather, we’ll look at that too,” Neely said.

How well has Carl Soderberg adjusted to NHL hockey?

And what is wrong with Milan Lucic?

“I think what happens when you have to play that style of game is that if people leave you alone, you think you’ve kind of done your job. What happens is, when you’re facing off against, in his situation, the right wing or the right D, they’re saying, ‘I don’t want to have anything to do with this guy tonight, I’m just going to leave him alone.’ So they’re not engaging with him, and he’s gotta remember and realize, ‘OK, I have to initiate. I can’t wait for anybody to kind of get me going. I have to initiate that.’

“When he first came into the league, he was trying to make himself known, and then the veterans were like, ‘Well, who’s this kid?’ And then everybody realized pretty quickly who this guy is and what he’s all about, and then conversely they said, ‘Well OK, let’s just leave him alone and he may not make the impact.’

“So I think for Milan, he’s got to understand that he’s gotta do more initiating, and he’s gotta get back to his roots and his basics of understanding, OK, what made me successful was being physical, making a physical presence out there and having people aware of him being on the ice. And then everything else kind of follows. Sometimes I think what happens is when you feel like you’ve kind of established all of that, you think OK that’s in front now, but that’s not the case.”

Neely said with Lucic, it’s not an issue of complacency.

“Milan has to continue to remind himself: This is the way I have to play to be successful,” Neely said. “The physical part of the game comes first for him.”

What kind of impact did the Boston Marathon bombings have on the Bruins organization?

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