After reportedly huffing and puffing during an informal skate on Monday, Milan Lucic admitted to CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty that he’s not at full speed.
“You’re never really in ‘game shape’ until you’re playing in games,” said Lucic. “I try to keep myself in shape, but we still have to weeks to get into game shape. I’ve never had a problem with my conditioning at any level, so I’ll be ready. I’ve stayed the same [weight]. It’s been hard, but I’ve stayed the same.”
Lucic might look especially out of place – and shape – compared to many of his Boston Bruins teammates who played overseas. (Haggerty claims that Tyler Seguin was “flying” out there, in particular.)
It doesn’t sound like the Canadian power forward will suffer the same, bulbous fate as Keith Tkachuk, though.
… But it’s a far cry from the cautionary tale of Blues forward Keith Tkachuk during the last lockout: He gained so much weight during the 2004-05 cancelled season that it took weeks before was allowed on the ice after a rigorous dry-land exercise program. Even after he returned, Tkachuk had one of his worst seasons with 15 goals, 36 points and a minus-15 rating in 41 games.
If Lucic wants to avoid further comparisons, then he better embrace the impending crash course to opening night.