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Milan Lucic’s Seek for Offence Begins with Bodily Sport

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CALGARY — The puck had solely to be within the normal neighborhood of Milan Lucic within the Calgary Flames’ home-opener for the Saddledome to take up the decision.

Lucic is not any stranger to the foghorn croon of “Loooooooch” from the followers of groups he’s performed for, however the Flames’ newcomer appreciated it simply the identical Saturday.

“It’s fairly cool to have that proper off the beginning,” Lucic mentioned Monday. “Makes you sort of be ok with your self and comfy proper off the get-go.

“The followers are pumped to have you ever so that you wish to do what you’ll be able to to play properly for them.”

Vancouver Canucks’ Alexander Edler retains Calgary Flames’ Milan Lucic away from goalie Jacob Markstrom (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Acquired from the Edmonton Oilers in change for James Neal, the summer time commerce was considered as a swap of costly, underperforming wingers each in want of jumpstarts.

Making an attempt to Discover Scoring Contact Once more

Lucic is making an attempt to rediscover the contact that averaged .61 factors per recreation his first decade within the league.

He was a 30-goal man in 2011 when he received a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins and is 2 targets away from a profession 200.

Within the meantime, the six-foot-three, 231-pound energy ahead from Vancouver is using the different instrument in his toolbox to earn the respect of his new teammates and their followers.

Coming to the defence of Austin Czarnik, who was checked onerous into the boards by Colorado’s Nikita Zadorov within the season-opener in Denver, Lucic rang up 17 minutes price of penalties in a single whistle.

“Not simply my teammates, you sort of wish to present everybody together with your self which you can nonetheless convey it,” the 31-year-old mentioned.

“It’s a kind of issues that occurred in that play in Colorado. It’s only a pure factor to face up on your teammate in that sense.

“Generally getting bodily and emotionally engaged helps you get into the sport and will get your recreation going the way in which that you really want it to go. I’ve acquired to do what I can to maintain it going clearly.”

Hooking and tripping minors in Saturday’s Three-Zero win at dwelling over the Vancouver Canucks made Lucic the NHL’s early chief in penalty minutes with 21 in two video games.

Milan Lucic with the Bruins (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports activities)

His profession excessive was 136 with Boston in 2008-09.

“You don’t wish to try this an excessive amount of the place you’re hurting your staff, however it’s what it’s at this level,” Lucic mentioned.

Sandpaper varieties Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett give the Flames an edge, however Lucic is a distinct kind of intimidator.

Opposing gamers don’t wish to wake the large lest they be on the receiving finish of a battering-ram verify or arm wrestling these beefy shoulders in a post-whistle scrum.

“He’s a presence on the market,” Bennett mentioned. “He quiets guys on their staff simply being out on the ice. We felt it after we performed in opposition to him in Edmonton.”

Kings Current Attention-grabbing Problem

The Los Angeles Kings (Zero-1-Zero) are on the town to face the Flames (1-1-Zero) on Tuesday, making for an fascinating confluence round Lucic.

He performed a season for Los Angeles in 2015-16 earlier than signing as a free agent in Edmonton.

Lucic counts amongst his pals Kings defenceman Drew Doughty, whose friction with Tkachuk extends again to the latter’s rookie season when Tkachuk acquired a two-game suspension for elbowing Doughty within the face.

Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports activities)

“I like Drew Doughty and he is aware of how a lot I like him, however now I’m on Tkachuk’s facet,” Lucic mentioned. “I clearly have to face up for Chucky if something occurs.”

Doughty accepts that.

“Looch isn’t going to shy up on a verify or something like that in opposition to me,” the defenceman mentioned. “He’s going to face up for his teammates. He’s not going to decide on a friendship over a teammate ever.

“I like enjoying in opposition to Looch. I like him very a lot as an individual.”

Todd McLellan, who coached Lucic in Edmonton the earlier three seasons, is the brand new man behind the Kings’ bench.

“I feel it’s nice for Looch as a result of he’s acquired a pleasant, recent begin,” McLellan mentioned. “I watched him play the primary two video games. He had an influence on the sport.

“Looch is an impressive particular person. You guys know that while you’re within the locker room, how he can carry a dialog, the eagerness he has for the sport.

“They’re fortunate to have him within the locker room and I do know he’ll have a constructive influence on the Flames.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Oct. 7, 2019.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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