boston – Milan Lucic has never shied away from expressing his admiration for Spoked-B. Even during his eight-year layoff, the burly winger always made sure his appreciation for Boston and his time in a Bruins uniform was well known.
So when the club kicked off its centennial celebrations Wednesday night with an emotional pregame ceremony that included every living retired Bruins player as well as a bevy of former Stanley Cup champions, he couldn’t help but soak in it all.
“It’s great. Obviously, I’m really looking forward to it, so it’s a very special moment for me. I’m just soaking it in like a fan, to be honest. I was sitting on the bench saying, ‘Being able to be It’s so cool to be a part of hockey history, it’s such a special moment,'” Lucic said after the Bruins’ 3-1 season-opening win over the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden.
“Being able to see all the legends here, former teammates, and be part of the whole ceremony tonight is something special. It just adds to the feeling of being back in Boston.”
Then, of course, it was Lucic’s turn to get what he deserved.
When No. 17 was announced during the pregame introductions, the TD Garden crowd erupted in thunderous chants of “Looooooocchhhh” as he skated to the blue line, where he beat his heart and waved to fans, the emotion evident on his face.
“It’s a special time in your life, the years I spent here, so being able to come back is so special to me and it’s nice to have emotion and show emotion,” Lucic said.
That sentiment carried over clearly from the start of the game, as Lucic produced one of his best performances of the night while setting up an assist for David Pastrnak, which ended with a backhand pass to His old friend, the latter completed the final race victory. Chicago goalie Arvid Soderblom gave Boston a 2-1 lead on a wrist shot from the far end at 13:09 of the second period.
“He had a really good training camp and he carried it over,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “He came in here in amazing shape. Not just what you saw on the ice, but the way he talked on the bench. He took on a really important leadership role and talked about how to build our team game and the important details. .
“The last two minutes of the first game, he said, ‘You’ve got to put the puck in, get the puck out.'” It’s just a good reminder that when it comes from a player, it means more to teammates. big. “