Going into Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Milan Lucic had gone 15 straight games without a goal. That’s a huge cold streak for one of the Boston Bruins’ most valuable forwards.
“It was starting to get really frustrating going as long as I did without a goal,” said Lucic in a Boston Herald report.
The 24-year-old scored 56 goals over his previous two campaigns, but had just four goals and 17 points in 29 contests this season when the Bruins knocked him down to the third line during Sunday’s practice.
“You try so many different things,” said Lucic. “You start pushing and pushing, and when things don’t work you start second-guessing yourself. . . . You try not to be frustrated. You try not to let your frustrations weigh on your teammates. You try to remain positive.
“It was definitely coming to a point where that was hard to do.”
Well, that slump is over now. With his team down 2-0 midway through the second period, Lucic showed off his speed and then beat Leafs goaltender James Reimer one-on-one.
For those who decry the decline in fighting – in “blood and guts” hockey – Tuesday presented a bloody moment, one fairly high on this season’s Muta scale.
Also, for some, seeing it happen to Tom Wilson specifically may provide additional pleasure.
Anyway, as you can see in the video above, Minnesota Wild winger Chris Stewart bloodied the Washington Capitals pest in a fight. Whether you’re for, against or neutral toward Wilson, it’s quite the sight.
Wilson may be hurt, by the way. He missed some time but returned later in the contest.
Auston Matthews likely ranks as the top reason that many Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to get the same feelings they had in better times, so it only makes sense that he broke a beloved Buds’ record on Tuesday.
With his 35th goal of a potential Calder season – but a brilliant debut either way – Matthews passed Wendel Clark for the Maple Leafs’ rookie record for goals in a season.
That goal was also meaningful for William Nylander, as he extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. This team, fueled by young players, just keeps shattering first-year marks:
Leafs rookie record watch:
GOALS – 35 Matthews ASSISTS – 40 Marner tied with Bodnar POINT STREAK – 12 games Nylander SHG – 3 Hyman
The U.S. women’s national team voted in favor of accepting USA Hockey’s deal, so they’ll participate in the world championship tournament. USA Hockey recently made the news official with this press release.
The press release confirmed a report that the contract will last four years, while financial terms were kept confidential. (Team members had been seeking a living wage to represent USA Hockey.)
“Our sport is the big winner today,” Team captain Meghan Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”