Every game, the Garden is Lucic crazy. There’s the “Lucic Crew” t-shirts, the “Looooooch” chants, and the constant insistence that Milan Lucic is “untouchable” and “the future”. To that, I say, ENOUGH ALREADY!
Now don’t get me wrong; I am a Milan Lucic fan. He proved last season that he can be a solid, two-way player and he is still only 21 years old. He provides an immeasurable amount of toughness and grit, and you can’t help but love a guy who is willing to stand up for his teammates on a nightly basis. With that being said, Bruins fans really need to take their Lucic infatuation down a notch.
Lucic, or should I say Looooch (eye roll), has turned into a cult hero in Boston and it makes me sick. It has gotten to the point where I almost despise a guy who was, at one point, a favorite of mine. I also cannot help but hope that he is traded sooner rather than later. There are too many individuals around Boston that get so caught up in little nuances about players that they become completely irrational. There was Walter McCarty and the “I love Waltahhh!” phenomenon. With Lou Merloni, it was the “Looouuuuu” chants. Even now, there’s Brian Scalabrine and everyone’s obsession with him being “the red-headed white guy.” There is one problem; they were/are all marginal players at best. McCarty was a power-forward who jacked up too many three’s. Merloni was a utility player with no power or speed, and played mediocre defense. Scalabrine…well, I’m not even going to get into that. Him making $3 million-a-year signifies everything that is wrong with the world. Now, let it be known, I am not comparing Lucic to these guys as far as talent. Lucic has more upside than any of those players could ever dream of having. In terms of Boston cult status, however, he is right in line with the rest of them. Everywhere you turn at the Garden, it’s Lucic this and Lucic that. He may be a key component to this hockey team, but his true identity is masked by ignorance and man-crushes. People need to realize that Lucic is an offensively gifted grinder. He is not the next Cam Neely! Yes, he can do wrong! No, he is not God! Milan Lucic has underperformed this season as much as any player on the Bruins, but because so many people have fallen in love with the guy, he has gotten a free pass.
Unfortunately, I had not yet taken over this blog when the Bruins inked Lucic to a three-year extension back in October. Otherwise, I would have been on here ranting, much like I am today. I was convinced upon hearing the news that it would prove to be a terrible investment for the Bruins. Four months later, I am even more convinced that that will be the case.
As I mentioned before, I love Lucic’s style of play. But let’s get real; is toughness and grit really worth $4 million-a-year? For that kind of money, I want to see more tangible evidence that it was a wise investment. Lucic’s line certainly isn’t that of a $4 million-a-year player. He has only 2 goals, 5 assists, and 7 points in 19 games this season. He has not scored a goal since November 23, a span of 10 games. In the same span, he only has 2 assists and is a minus-8. I understand that he has dealt with injuries and Savard’s absence is killing him equally, but come on! If we are going to stand around and point fingers, why isn’t Lucic feeling any of the heat? Instead, there is a massive following that will scoop up any Lucic paraphernalia they can get their hands on and quickly dismiss any trade rumors that begin with his name.
These same Bruins fans will be complaining when the Bruins do not get involved in the Kovalchuk sweepstakes or struggle to make any moves, this season or in the offseason, because of salary cap ramifications. These same fans will complain that the Bruins don’t spend any money, even though they spend up to or near the cap virtually every season. It is also these same fans that will continue to bitch and moan about the Bruins not scoring goals. Well, guess what, that’s what happens when you invest over $4 million-a-year into a guy because he is willing to drop the gloves. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer a guy who can put the puck in the net and Lucic isn’t that guy right now.
Now, let me be clear before Lucic Nation revolts. As I mentioned before, I am a Lucic fan. I am just unwilling to let that cloud my vision like so many fans are. The fact of the matter is that he is underperforming. Also, in discussing the ridiculous Lucic craze at the Garden, I am not talking about all Bruins fans. I don’t want people to think that I am making these wildly broad generalizations about an entire fan base. Most Bruins fans are actually knowledgeable and realistic and to you, I applaud. However, there are others about which I cannot say the same.
Nonetheless, it is time for everyone to realize that the Bruins may have dropped the ball with the Lucic extension. Even if he gets things back on track, I am not so sure that he will ever amount to the talent that a $12 million contract can net you on the open market. Like I said, I love his toughness and grit, but right now, the Bruins don’t need toughness and grit. They need goals, the only thing that matters at the end of the day.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.