Re: The Lucic Issue
posted at 10/21/2011 10:34 AM EDT
In Response to Re: The Lucic Issue
That's the point dummies. Not that Lucic sucks but that he's gotten away from what makes him great. He's not a 30 goal scorer he's maybe 20-25 at best and 40-55 points a year. That's where his skill sets are offensively. It's what he used to do that made him dangerous and feared (physical play, intimidation, etc...) He hasn't been that guy in a while. He has average hands and average speed and doesn't do much to create offense for his teamates. If he can't be physical and won't win battles up front on or off the power play then why is he on the number one line and PP unit. That's my point. Posted by bobforte2002
Okay, so - picking this thread after catching up on the truly unimaginative sniping because it's one where bob's making a point more than jabbing.
I think there are two points here, one basically right and one that's drawing all the fire. 1) Lucic isn't playing his game, and we're seeing it in the results; 2) Lucic is only so good, and if he isn't shattering the glass every second night he's loafing.
Lucic clearly wasn't up to his usual playoff standard last year. Think of the player who came closest to willing the Bruins out of the collapse against Philly - the Memorial Cup MVP, Team Captain, etc. etc. He hadn't buried anything this year either, but he's been a lot better at generating chances than he was in the playoffs - just not finishing. Bob quotes Lucic saying he needs to simplify and move his legs to reclaim his game - too true.
But if the Bruins were winning - say they go 5-2 instead of 3-4 - or if this slump happened in January, would there be a Lucic issue? Because you can have a 6 game slump and still score 30+ goals. Take Stamkos. Last year, after January, he had two six game goal-less streaks and two five gamers. What a bum (finished with 45).
I think this is where the whole thread goes off the rails, because as soon as Lucic slumps people question what he is - something you won't hear about Stamkos (who has 1 more point than Lucic through 7 games). NAS's description of what makes Lucic so valuable is about the most effective I've seen - whatever quality makes a first, second, third, or fourth liner successful, he can bring it. You want him to fight, he'll break people. You want him to hit, he'll hurt people. You want him to play responsibly, he'll play smart. You want him to play with your top scorers, he'll score. I'll add what I think makes him one of the most coveted players by other GMs - he's a guy who can really hit who you have to play your top D pairing against. And even when he's not bowling guys over, he's a load - tiring to move, tiring to be constantly aware of, capable of embarrassing you if you protect yourself and not your goal. THIS is why he was paid like a core player before he came close to 30 goals; he's a rare element for a first line. And don't let the fact that he can look like an ox mislead you - he kept up with Seguin pretty well against the Leafs, and he's a quality passer on the rush or on the cycle when he's moving his legs.
The trick is - do you want him to play like a third liner on your first line? One reason third liners get more hits is that they don't possess the puck as much as first liners, and usually the players they're on against aren't as quick or as adept at moving the puck before they're in a position where they can get hit. Much harder for a first-liner to get on the top D pairing and rattle the glass shift after shift - which is why it's so important to make it count with a Lucic-sized body. Part of people's dissatisfaction is rooted in the line, role, matchups Lucic has to work with. Doesn't mean he's playing as well as we'd like, but it should temper your expectations for how much he hits, fights etc.
We don't know if Lucic will score 30 this year, but we know he did just last year, and I really haven't seen anything short of injury suggest he can't come close to or exceed that mark on a regular basis.