Milan Lucic underwent surgery to repair his left wrist after the playoffs and is confident he'll be ready to play his usual rough-and-tumble style when the Boston Bruins open the season Oct. 8. But it will take a while for him to get over the Bruins loss to Montreal in the playoffs.
The wrist injury Milan Lucic suffered in Game 7 of the Boston Bruins second-round playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens is healing quite nicely, thank you very much. But the ignominy he and the Bruins suffered in that same game, well, that’s taking a little longer to wear off.
Shortly after the Bruins lost Game 7 of that series on home ice and were bounced from the playoffs, Lucic underwent surgery to repair the wrist, which he said later got jammed in the first period of that game. Doctors just recently removed the pins and while Lucic has been able to do some lower-body training so far, he has not been able to do any lifting. He hopes to start very soon now that the pins are out of the wrist and it’s on its way to healing fully.
“Now I can finally start my physio and try get the scar tissue out of the lower part of my hand and wrist,” Lucic said. “Then I can finally start my summer program to get myself going for next season.
Lucic said the surgery is similar to the procedure linemate David Krejci had after injuring his wrist in the 2010 playoffs. He made it back for the start of the 2010-11 season, then led the Bruins in scoring in the playoffs that spring as they won the Stanley Cup. Lucic sees no reason why he won’t be available when the Bruins open their season Oct. 8 at home against the Philadelphia Flyers. And the Bruins are going to need him, since they play seven games – three at home and four on the road - in the first 11 days of the season.
“I’m hoping I can get all the movement back to where it was prior to the injury,” he said.
As far as the bad taste in his mouth that was a residual effect of losing to the Canadiens, that may take a little longer to overcome. Lucic was held pointless in the last four games of that series and, as usual, had a few running wars with the Canadiens players. Anyone who could read lips could see that he wasn’t exchanging Facebook addressed with Canadiens defensemen Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin in the handshake line after the series.
Lucic isn’t about to show a lot of contrition for threatening Markov and Emelin during a ritual where hard feelings that have built up throughout the series are supposed to be put aside, but two months after the fact, he realizes he could have been a tad more diplomatic given the circumstances.
“I’m not going to apologize for how I acted or what was said,” Lucic said. “But at the end of the day, thinking about it now, maybe I definitely could have handled the situation better than I did. But more than saying what I said to the players, I was upset with losing. I was upset with losing to them. We had such a great team that had won the Presidents’ Trophy and that being the end and losing the way that we did, I think it all just accumulated to me losing my cool in the handshake.”
Lucic will have an opportunity to renew acquaintances with Markov and Emelin and the rest of the Canadiens early in the season, since the Bruins visit the Bell Centre Oct. 16. But as far as this summer is concerned, he doesn’t have to look far to see one of the main reasons for the Bruins defeat. For years now, Lucic has trained in the summer with Ian Gallagher, who just happens to be the father of Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher.