BOSTON (CBS) – With the Boston Bruins and Maple Leafs set to square off in Game 4 of their series on Wednesday night up in Toronto, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zo (with WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche in for Gresh) spoke with former NHL star Jeremy Roenick about the NHL playoffs.
After discussing a few other series in what is proving to be a wild first round — with the San Jose Sharks sweeping the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Islanders even with the Pittsburgh Penguins at 2-2 — Roenick went on to speak about the Bruins first line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, who have done the majority of Boston’s damage against the Leafs.
“I love that first line; it has such a good chemistry in terms of playmaking with Krejci, scoring with Horton, and toughness with both Horton and Lucic,” said Roenick. “The key to that line is Lucic, because he’s the fastest of the three and gets in there and pounds bodies, and still makes plays to allow Krejci time to be creative and feed Horton or feed back to Lucic.”
“I love the way he is playing right now,” he said of Lucic, who leads the Bruins with six postseason assists. “I felt bad for him when he was getting sat at the end of the season. I talk to him every once and awhile, and I’m glad he’s taken some advice and not listening to anyone, just going out and knocking people’s heads off, because he’s changed the complexion of the Boston Bruins again.”
Lucic was stuck in a slump as the regular season drew to a close, and even found his way to the ninth floor in the final week. With 20 NHL seasons of experience, how does Roenick
“With big money comes big pressure. In a pressure-packed market, especially like Boston, a guy that cares and cares a lot really lets things get to him. If they don’t put a point on the board or win hockey games, and you’re not being effective, it really gets to you. Once it gets to a couple games, it starts digging deeper,” he said. “When that pressure mounts, you start pressing. When you press, you make bad decisions with the puck and second guess yourself. It just seems to build as you go. You need something good to happen, something positive. When you go through that, the one spark that changes your mentality will spur you into more energy. That’s what happened with Lucic; he had a good game where he had a couple big hits, a goal and assist, and felt better about himself, and he’s been a big difference.”
Jaromir Jagr, who the Bruins acquired at the trade deadline, has just one point in his first three playoff games with the Bruins. He’s still aggressive on the ice and trying to get thing going on Boston’s third line, and Roenick says he can still be an x-factor going forward.
“No question. He is slower now, he’s (41). The fact he can do what he’s doing, he and (Anaheim’s) Teemu Seelani are defying the logic of age,” said Roenick. “He’s so smart, he know the game so well, that even if hes a step or two slower he anticipates the game and is strong enough to where he can put pucks in the right place. He’ll go to places where he knows the picks are going to and he’ll have a couple of extra seconds to make a play because no one else in the building knows that’s what is going to happen except for him. That’s how smart he is.”