Milan Lucic

Milan LucicNine.


The most goals allowed by the Bruins in a game since 2008.


The most shots allowed in a game by the Bruins since 1965.

That’€™s the 51-years-ago 1965, as in the year civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama, were attacked by state troopers. Lyndon Johnson was president. Johnny Bucyk was in his prime at 29-years of age.

To say that former Bruins’€™ winger Milan Lucic and L.A. did a number on Boston Tuesday night at TD Garden in a 9-2 Kings’€™ victory would be quite the understatement.

“You’€™re here win a game, you know?,” Lucic said afterward with a chuckle, when asked if it felt awkward to beat his former mates so decisively. “You win by one, you win by seven it doesn’€™t matter, a win’€™s a win. I guess you can’€™t feel too bad. You come in here and try to get those bragging rights and have it over your former teammates. It was a full, team effort from the net out and I was glad to get that win.”

For the Bruins, it was a full, team effort for about 17-minutes, until Brad Marchand‘€™s penalty with between-the-opponent’€™s-legs stick-work put his team shorthanded. A few minutes later, a string of seven consecutive Kings’€™ goals began.

“€œYeah it’€™s very clear, it’€™s an embarrassing game,” Marchand said flatly after the carnage was complete, with his Bruins forced to leave the once-friendly Garden confines to the tune of the boo-bird serenade that rained down from the remaining fans. “Very frustrating. Those games can’€™t happen.”

“€œIt is embarrassing and it’€™s unacceptable,”€ said goaltender Tuukka Rask, who was mercifully pulled from the contest with the game at a 5-1 margin in the second period. “€œWe were taking steps forward and thought we fixed things, and then we do something like this. I thought we were prepared to play, thought we played pretty good in the first [period]. All of a sudden they got those two goals quickly there and it kind of deflated us and we never recovered.”

This particular episode of DeflateGate featured Bruins’€™ defenseman Kevan Miller in the crosshairs of the first three L.A. tallies. A Jeff Carter power-play goal went off Miller’€™s stick and in. Just over a minute later, Marian Gaborik got loose in the low slot with Miller and others scrambling to find their correct defensive assignments. And three minutes into the second period Miller coughed up the puck behind his own net, giving it right to the Kings’€™ Andy Andreoff who buried it for a 3-1 Kings’€™ margin.

“[They] rimmed it around, I go to cut the puck off and he got a stick in behind me and it basically went right to their guy,” said Miller, describing the third L.A. goal. “It’€™s unfortunate. Those can happen in games, [but] we didn’€™t have a good response after that as a team. Pretty frustrated, obviously very upset and a little bit embarrassed for sure.”

And clearly, in a game where nine goals found the Boston net, there was a full team’€™s worth of blame to go around.

“€œWe’€™re not a man-on-man team in our zone and it seemed like that’€™s how we wanted to play today,” said center Patrice Bergeron. “We had no layers, especially in the slot. How many rebound goals [did] they get? You guys probably know more than me. It’€™s happened a lot of times this year where we lacked focus … but tonight, I guess that topped it all.”

Bergeron continued: “The breakdowns we had tonight need to be fixed ASAP. They’€™re a great team, but let’€™s be honest we were terrible tonight.”

“€œThey just took over the whole game,”€ said Marchand. “€œWe weren’€™t winning battles. We weren’€™t showing any emotion. We weren’€™t playing our system. We weren’€™t backing each other up. We weren’€™t doing anything. Everyone’€™s [ticked] off. Anyone who has any kind of pride knows this is embarrassing and they should be [ticked] off about it. Hopefully there’€™s a lot of that right now.”

Perhaps the only man with Boston ties to leave the Garden happy on Tuesday was Lucic, as his first-place Kings continued on their way along a seven-game road trip.

“€œFor our team, especially, goals don’€™t come too easy,” said Lucic, with the Kings having had scored three goals or fewer in eight of their last nine games before their outburst against Boston. “You see all the goals that we scored, they were second and third chances, getting around the net and putting pucks to the net. It’€™s not every day you get 57-shots. We were real committed to getting shots on net and getting people at the net to find those second and third opportunities with them having such a great goaltender. Nice to get that win. Nice for me to kind of get through [my return] and focus on the rest of the trip here.”

And in a way, Lucic helped the Garden get through this one, too. Just about the only cheers from Bruins’€™ fans on the night were reserved for ‘€˜Looch’€™, reminiscing on his eight-years spent with the club, when times were better.

“€œThe crowd was definitely great here to me tonight,”€ said Lucic. “€œPretty cool that I got to experience that. A lot of special things happened to me here in Boston. Especially the fans, they really helped me become the player and the person that I’€™ve become today. Thanks to them for making this a special night for me individually and thanks to my teammates for getting a big win for us to start off this road trip. It was pretty cool.”

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird

The Bruins don't measure up against the NHL's better teams. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)Reading into one regular-season game, however great or terrible, is silly. How about reading into eight?

Ken Laird & DJ Bean discuss the LA Kings 9-2 win at TD Garden on Tuesday as former Bruin Milan Lucic was one of 9 different players to score during a 57-shot night for the Kings

[0:00:16] ... the best way to footed a soul searching defeat although I guess Claude Julien sort of flowed. Maybe like his players wrote it off this hey lets just move on an excellent or go to my ...
[0:06:25] ... the Eastern Conference remember it's still the last team to win the Stanley Cup from the Eastern Conference so they don't. I don't see what the appeal of winning a round or two and then it. ...
[0:07:10] ... make you. Deep Brothers legitimate cup contender with David Cree chief and Patrice Bergeron and Brad marsh and I don't wanna waste these guys' prime so. Eileen towards after a loss like this saying you know what. This is not a Stanley Cup contender this is not a dominant HL team. And you don't wanna read too much into one single game but I'm not ...
[0:08:09] ... lineup. It's going up against a big strong LE FLA team has Kevin Millar at being good this season absolutely not. But I don't blame him for saying you know what. Am I gonna put in ...

The Bruins allowed 57 shots on goal — the most they’ve given up in a game since 1965 — in an ugly 9-2 loss to the Kings Tuesday. After the game, the team hardly sounded like a group pushing for the second spot in the Atlantic Division and more like a fledgling team chasing the prowess it had in years past.

“We got absolutely embarrassed,” Zdeno Chara said. “They played a really good game, but we had nowhere near the game that we needed to play. It was embarrassing.”

The B’€™s allowed seven straight goals after taking a 1-0 lead in the first period. The loss dropped them to 1-7-0 against Western Conference playoff teams this season.

“There are things that obviously are going to stay inside this locker room, but we just need to be better,” Chara said. “We need to perform better. We’€™ve had a few stretches where we’€™ve played well, we won some tight games and some big games and we were facing some challenges or teams on top of the league and we didn’€™t follow up with the performances that we had previous games. That’€™s again tonight’€™s case. It was embarrassing.”

Said David Krejci: “The way we lost, especially the second and third period, it’€™s just unacceptable. You should go out there even if you’€™re losing 6-1 after the second period and show some pride, you know? Try to show fans that we respect them coming here. We don’€™t want to get booed in our own building. We didn’€™t respond. It was embarrassing.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Over the years, Milan Lucic grew accustomed to his his team, an annual Stanley Cup contender, dominating teams in Boston. He got to experience that one more time Tuesday.

Over the years, Milan Lucic grew accustomed to his his team, an annual Stanley Cup contender, dominating teams in Boston. He got to experience that one more time Tuesday.

The Kings ran over the Bruins, 9-2, in Lucic’€™s first game back in Boston since being traded to Los Angeles in the offseason. Lucic scored the Kings’€™ seventh goal, giving him 13 goals on the season.

The Bruins yanked Rask after the Kings’€™ fifth goal in favor of Jonas Gustavsson, marking the first time this season they have pulled Rask from a game.

The loss provided further perspective on how good the Bruins actually are despite playing in a bad division and conference. Though the Bruins entered the game 10-4-0 against Eastern Conference playoff teams and 5-1-0 against Atlantic Division playoff teams, Tuesday’€™s loss dropped them to 1-7-0 against Western Conference playoff teams.

Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:


For all intents and purposes, Colin Miller is better than Kevan Miller. Would it be out of the question to play Kevan Miller against the a bigger team like the Kings? No, but it proved to be the wrong move Tuesday night.

Miller was responsible for the Kings’€™ first three goals, including a pair of goals scored in a span of 1:39. First, a Jeff Carter pass during a Kings power play went off Miller’€™s stick and past Tuukka Rask to get Los Angeles on the board.

On Miller’€™s next shift, he left Marian Gaborik open seemingly in an effort to cover Dwight King, who was already covered by Jimmy Hayes and Ryan Spooner in front of the net. That allowed Vincent Lacavalier to feed Gaborik for the go-ahead goal.

Los Angeles’€™ third goal came as a result of a Miller turnover from behind the net in the second period. The bizarro hat trick from Miller was enough to give the Kings a lead they would not relinquish.


One positive note from Tuesday: With his first-period goal, Brad Marchand made it 10 goals in 10 games and brought his season total to 25. He’€™s now three shy of his career-high 28 set back in 2011-12. He’€™s also on pace to finish the season with 40 goals.


Marchand’€™s goal was a power-play tally, something that’€™s become something of a rarity for the B’€™s of late. The Bruins entered Tuesday’€™s game 2-for-29 on the man advantage in their previous 10 games.


Tyler Randell had last played exactly one month ago, but his time off since Jan. 9’€™s game against the Senators didn’€™t leave him confused about his role. The rookie fourth-liner jumped back into Boston’€™s lineup Tuesday and fought Kyle Clifford on his first shift, earning the takedown in the process.

He also scored in the third period to give him five goals on the season in 21 games played.

Randell was in the lineup in place of Zac Rinaldo. The lineup looked as such:


Krug-Kevan Miller


Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

This is Milan Lucic‘€™s first season with the Kings and he hopes it isn’€™t his last.

In addition to adjusting to a new team, Lucic also has to play with the added distraction of being in the final year of his contract. Different players handle contract years differently — some post tremendous money in hopes of a huge pay day; some let the uncertainty consume them and ultimately detract from their play — and Lucic is just trying to put it out of his mind.

Interestingly enough, however, Lucic indicated Tuesday that last season saw more of those pressures get to him than this season. Though last season was the second year of a three-year, $18 million deal, Lucic knew that his future with the team depended on that season. He turned out to be correct, as the Bruins dealt him in the offseason rather than taking him into the last year of his contract.

“I think I focused on it a little bit too much, especially in the first half of the the season, just the goals and the assists and the individual stuff,” Lucic said. “Sometimes when things come up like a contract, it’€™s hard to ignore those king of things. That’€™s why I think when I stopped focusing on that and just worried about the things that mattered like winning hockey games, everything else kind of just fell into place. I tried to take that same mentality into this year.”

Lucic, 27, scored 24 or more goals three times with the Bruins. His numbers took a dip last season when he posted 18 goals, and he’€™s currently on pace for 19 goals. Even if he fails to hit the 20-goal mark for a second straight season, he will be an attractive option for either the Kings to re-sign (far from a certainty given cap constraints) or for another team to court on the open market.

The Kings currently sit atop the Pacific Division with 65 points through 51 games. They have less than $3 million in cap space this season despite the fact that they are only paying a little more than half of Lucic’s $6 million cap hit (the Bruins retained about $2.49 million cap-wise in the trade). Los Angeles does not have a ton of money coming off the books, while next season will see star center Anze Kopitar’s cap hit rise from $6.8 million to $10 million.

Despite all the uncertainty, Lucic says that he’€™s doing a better job of handling the unknown than he did a season ago.

“I’€™m just focusing on the things that I can control, and that’€™s helping the team win,” Lucic said. “I haven’€™t really been focusing too much on goals and assists and what I need to do to sign a big deal or anything like that. I’€™ve just been focused on winning hockey games and things like that. I think that’€™s kind of helped my play so far throughout the season.”

Added Lucic: “Looking at the team, we do have a real great team here with a real great chance here to be a contender. I’€™m just focusing more on that than the individual stuff.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Colin Miller

Colin Miller

You know you came up in a veteran organization when you’€™re set the play the team months after being traded and you only know “a couple” players on the team. That’€™s the case for Colin Miller as the Bruins prepare to take on the Kings at TD Garden.

Miller, who was drafted by the Kings in 2012, won the Calder Cup with the Manchester Monarchs last season before being traded to Boston in the Milan Lucic trade.

“I know a couple of guys on the team,” Miller said Tuesday. “Obviously I wasn’€™t up there at all, so I know a couple of guys on the team and have been around them in training camp and stuff like that, but there are definitely a couple of buddies that I’€™ll be watching tonight.”

Ah, yes. Watching. Unfortunately for Miller, he appears to be the odd man out on defense for Tuesday, as he stayed out after morning skate along with injured defenseman Adam McQuaid. If Miller is out for Tuesday, he’€™ll join Steven Kampfer (scratched vs. his hometown Red Wings in the 2010-11 season) as defensemen Claude Julien has sat in sentimental moments. Miller, who was scratched Saturday as well, didn’€™t seem especially hurt by potentially sitting against his former organization.

“It’€™s always fun playing against an old team that you know, but we’€™ll see what happens here tonight,” Miller said. “It will be a good game either way.”

Here is the anticipated lineup for Tuesday, based on morning skate:


Krug-Kevan Miller


Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Matt Beleskey

Matt Beleskey

Bruins forward Matt Beleskey has similar numbers to Milan Lucic a season ago, but he’€™s trying to avoid the comparison to the former Bruin.

“He’€™s a great player. If anyone put me in that [class] I’€™d take it, but like I said [when I came here] I’€™m not Milan Lucic,” Beleskey said Monday. “I won’€™t be that player. I’€™m different. I’€™m my own player and that’€™s the way I’€™ve been playing all year.”

Beleskey, who signed a five-year contract worth $3.8 million annually this offseason to replace Lucic, has nearly identical goals per 60 (.68) to what Lucic had in his final season in Boston (.70). He currently finds himself in a scoring slump that’€™s seen him score just one goal in his last 16 games, a slump that Lucic himself had last season.

Claude Julien said he’€™s happy with Beleskey, whom he feels the Bruins signed for his physicality rather than raw numbers.

“It’€™s his production that’€™s maybe thrown things off a little bit,” Julien said Monday. “Do people have the right view of what he is as a player vs. looking at last year’€™s stats and thinking that’€™s what it should be or even better. We knew what we were getting. We were getting a guy that, [after] losing Lucic, would give us some grit, would be able to contribute offensively here and there as well. So far he’€™s given us that. To me, he’€™s a player that, when you look at our group up front, he’€™s a player that we really need.”

To read more on Beleskey’s season and how it compares to Lucic’s final season in Boston, click here for Monday’s story.

Blog Author: 

Matt Beleskey has provided similar production to what Milan Lucic's 2014-15 season. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)When the Bruins signed Matt Beleskey on the opening day of free agency, the question wasn’t whether he could be Milan Lucic.