Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe spoke with Bruins winger Milan Lucic today in advance of Wednesday’s highly-anticipated Bruins-Sabres tilt.
Not beating around the bush, Dupont asked Lucic if he expected one of the Buffalo players to drop the mitts.
“Yes. I’m not going to lie…yes.”
Not a surprise, but definitely interesting given Brendan Shanahan has spoken with both GMs — Buffalo’s Darcy Regier and Boston’s Peter Chiarelli — informing them that “awareness will be heightened” for the game. Lucic’s honesty is admirable, even though a “no comment” might’ve been the smarter play.
That said, we’re now left with the following questions for tomorrow night:
— Who takes on Lucic? Buffalo’s most active pugilist this year is Cody McCormick, but he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury and hasn’t played since Nov. 14. Paul Gaustad, one of the most outspoken Sabres following the Lucic-Miller collision (and one of Miller’s best friends), has fought twice already this year and certainly has the size at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds.
— What will Patrick Kaleta do? If there’s one wildcard in the Buffalo lineup, it’s Kaleta — he’s already been suspended for headbutting and fined $2,500 for a hatchet job on Phoenix’s Derek Morris.
— Will Boston start Tim Thomas in goal? It might not be the worst idea ever to rest your franchise goalie (you know, the guy with a penchant for playing outside the blue ice.) Tuukka Rask only has one start in Boston’s last five games, but Thomas does have a two-game shutout streak going.
— Who will work the game? The officiating crew of referees Ghislain Hebert/Marc Joannette and linesmen Derek Nansen/Mark Shewchyk called the last Bruins-Sabres affair. Hebert was fairly inexperienced as far as referees went (he called his first regular-season game in 2009) and it’s likely a more veteran crew will be assigned to this potentially explosive affair.