It was a bitter night in Boston, and not solely because of the winds whipping off of Causeway Street. It was bitter sweet for Boston Bruins faithful to see the return of fan favorite Milan Lucic, but this time in a visiting sweater. The score, a lopsided 9 to 2 victory for the Los Angeles Kings, left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth, and it was a bitter reminder that the Bruins team who won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and made the Cup finals in 2013, were no longer together.
“A little bit,” said Los Angeles Kings forward and former Bruin Milan Lucic, when asked if it took time for his emotions to settle. “You think about the reaction and the excitement from the crowd. The crowd was definitely great to me here tonight and I can’t appreciate the fan support enough. So thanks to them for making this a special night for me individually, and thanks to my teammates for getting a big win for us here to start off this road trip.”
Lucic, who was an integral part of Boston’s Stanley Cup winning team in 2011, played eight years for the Bruins, amassing 139 goals, 203 assists for 342 points and 772 penalty minutes during his time in the black and gold jersey. He was liked by his teammates and adored by the fans, which loved his rough and tough style of hockey.
Kings head coach Darryl Sutter had this to say on the reaction Lucic got from the fans, “I think it was special and unique, and, you know, he’s a Boston-type player, so the fans love him. And, he won a championship here. It doesn’t matter where that type of player is, that fits in with the crowd, is always well respected, always.”
In his first game back, Lucic registered a goal and an assist, which elicited both the familiar “Looch” chant from some fans, while others booed the opposing player.
“They were definitely trying to set me up to get a goal here tonight,” Lucic replied when asked if his team wanted to help him get a goal. “Happy to get one here, where I’ve scored a bunch of times before in my career. So like I said, just happy about the way we played as a team and everything we did here tonight.”
The 9-2 loss was embarrassing. The Bruins allowed 57 shots on net, the most since 1962.
Bruins forward had this to say about tonight’s loss, “Yeah, it’s very clear it was an embarrassing game, and very frustrating. So, those games can’t happen.” The he added, “Everyone’s pissed off. I mean, anyone who has any kind of pride knows that this is embarrassing, and they should be pissed off about it. So, hopefully there’s a lot of that right now.
The Bruins look to get back on the winning track when they take on the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday in Winnipeg.