BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins pulled off one amazing Game 7 comeback on Monday night, with Milan Lucic one of the big reasons why.
It’s just a shame his own father didn’t keep the TV on to see it.
“He told me he went to bed when it was 3-1 because he was frustrated,” Lucic told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday morning. “He called me after and I asked if he could believe what happened. He said he didn’t see any of it.”
The elder Lucic missed the Bruins fall behind the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 early in the third period, only to score three goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation, and win the series with a Patrice Bergeron tally six minutes into overtime.
Gallery: Game 7 Photos
Lucic netted the goal to make it 4-3 with 1:22 to go in regulation, but was also a very vocal leader on the bench.
“There were still 10 minutes left when (Nathan) Horton got the goal (to make it 4-2), and I was thinking if we get one within the first five and then one in the second five; it’s very doable getting two goals in the last ten minutes,” explained Lucic. “I remember sitting by the bench saying, ‘that’s one, let’s get the next one.’ I knew if we got the next one anything could happen.”
“It was a pretty good feeling,” he said of the locker room heading into overtime. “When you come back like that it was nice to have 15 minutes to sit down and go over everything that happened. I remember a couple guys saying we weren’t going to be denied and the hockey gods were on our side. (Head coach) Claude (Julien) said ‘there is going to be a hero in this game, and he’s in this room.’ That’s always something you want to hear and, obviously, the hero was in our room.”
“It was something that was pretty awesome to be a part of,” he said of the miracle comeback. “It was a great day (Tuesday) getting to enjoy it. I’ve seen the highlights about a million times. But just like a loss, you have to turn the page.”
One of the many aspects of Monday night’s game to go viral is Lucic’s odd handshake with Maple Leafs captain Dion Phanuef. As the teams lined up for the customary handshakes following the series, Lucic gave Phanuef a tap in a sensitive area below the belt. Many listeners have brought it up to Toucher and Rich, so they asked Lucic about the exchange.
“I tried to hit him in the stomach and I got a little low. That’s all I can explain,” Lucic said with a chuckle. “There was so much going through my head I don’t know what was going on.”
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A lot has been made of the Bruins and certain players “flipping the switch” after a lackluster finish to the regular season. Lucic disagrees with that notion, saying he had a strong finish to the season which has carried over into the playoffs, and he received some extra motivation after being a healthy scratch.
“I don’t think it was a switch that was turned on right at the playoffs. I think I had a pretty good three games heading into the playoffs,” said Lucic, saying his three points and a pair of fights over the final week of the season helped, but it was mostly because he focused on moving his feet. “The main part was I felt like my legs came back out of nowhere. For a big guy, as much as skating isn’t my forte and isn’t talked about, when my feet are moving it becomes a big part of my game. That’s what I feel like has come back in my game and given me success. I talked about it the last few months, ever since I sat out of the lineup my main focus has been moving my feet and being hard on the fore-check; everything else took care of itself.”
Up next for Boston is the New York Rangers, who beat the Washington Capitals in a hard-fought seven game series. The B’s were 1-1-1 against the Rangers during the regular season, and know what they’re going up against despite New York’s mid-season trade of Marian Gaborik.
“We know the system that (head coach John) Tortorella likes to play, and it’s no secret they have one of the best goaltenders in the league (in Henrik Lundqvist),” Lucic said of the Rangers. “For us it’s getting to their goaltender and playing our game. Hopefully we can gain some momentum off that Game 7 win and we can find some consistency, because if we get down a couple goals it’s going to be a lot harder to get back in it with the way they play.”
Lucic is raffling off four premium club tickets to Sunday’s Game 2 and an autographed jersey to benefit the Celebrities For Charity Foundation. Log on here for more information and tickets!