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LUCIC LEARNS A LOT FROM THIS SEASON

LUCIC LEARNS A LOT FROM THIS SEASON

IMG_2446BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD MILAN LUCIC

On keeping this team together in the future…
Obviously we’ve shown that we’re still a championship caliber team, and we’re a team that plays with a lot of pride, and we can win. Obviously that’s something that management is going to have to look at in the next week, because with the lockout extending everything it’s already – What is it June 26th today? It’s definitely been a long, long year. But I think there’s a lot more from this hockey club, and I think every guy in here would say they’d like to see the same team here next year.

On personally having a successful playoffs this year…
Well just it felt like you had something to prove, especially with what happened in the season and all that type of stuff. You just try to get your game back, and try to have fun with it again. I saw it as an opportunity to get my game back to where I wanted it to be, and show that I am still able to be a big game big type of player. Thankfully I was able to peak and play my best at the right time, and hopefully I can carry that into next year.

On how he will look back on the season…
Probably as a season, as short as it was, I think I probably learned the most. Just because like you said, with the highs and lows I learned the most out of myself and all the different types of situations you can be in as a player. I think it helps you mature as a person and mature as a player. And you kind of learn that you can never let the highs get too high and the lows get too low. You’ve got to find a way to create that consistency in your game – and it definitely wasn’t there this year for myself other than the playoffs. I think that’s the main focus going into next year is to find that consistency and to play at a high level for a full season and into the playoffs. I’m just looking forward to having a good summer, and coming back and being hungry to win next year.

On whether he is trying to validate a big contract deal…
I think once I stop thinking about it is when I started playing well this year. I stopped worrying about living up to the expectation of the paycheck, and my game started being where it wanted to be. Obviously when you make as much as you do it’s always going to weigh on you. But I think for myself what I learned the most was once I stopped thinking about that and once I stopped worrying about living up to some unrealistic expectation that I put on myself, and just focused on playing hockey that’s when I was playing at my best.

On whether he was totally healthy…
Just some nagging stuff that I’m definitely going to take care of this summer. Just stuff that’s built up over the year – years. Just some neck stuff from all the hits you take and give. And focus on trying to get yourself as healthy as you can coming into next year with such a short off season.

On how important it is for [Nathan] Horton to return to Boston…
Well like you said, it’s no secret that I have a relationship with him and we’ve become real good friends over the last three years not just on the ice but off the ice as well. I think he showed in these playoffs how important he is to this team as well. He’s a great hockey player and he’s a big part of this team, and we’d love nothing more than to see him back here next year. I’d love nothing more than to have him back on our line next year.

On whether the adversity this season brought the locker room closer together…
I think so. Like you said, just with what we went through as a city with the marathon stuff, and also with what happened in that Toronto series as well. I think it does make the group closer. And getting back to this point, right now it’s an empty feeling with not being able to come out of it with a Cup. But I think if you look at it, it was a lot of fun playing playoff hockey and getting to the Stanley Cup final again. So our group is as tight as it ever was, and like I said that’s the big reason why we want to be back here next year.

On [Patrice] Bergeron being back in the hospital, and how he played in Game 6…
I didn’t know he was back in the hospital, but just his willingness to play in that game and to leave it all out there is really impressive. Playing through what he played through and his will to win. And that’s why he’s basically won every trophy a guy can win, that’s why he’s one of our main leaders in this hockey club. He’s shown how important of a player he is. And it was pretty inspirational to see him suck it up and play Game 6, and I think that’s why we had such a great start. Hopefully he can get some much-needed rest here and heal up his injury 100 percent too, so he’s ready to go next year.

On whether the team needs any additions next year…
I think we showed that with this group we can do it with the guys that we have. I think what we needed was just to find the consistency throughout the lineup to push hard with all 20 guys all year and through the playoffs, and that’s when we’re most successful. I think if you look at it at the end of the day, the team and the team system is what helps you win. You don’t win by just one or two individuals, you win with a whole team.

On whether the Bruins have elevated hockey in this city and proven they could compete at a championship level every year.
Yeah it’s definitely a lot different than it was, you know, talking back in 2008 in this interview. But I think we’ve shown that we’re a championship caliber team, you know in winning the Cup two years ago and getting back to the finals again this year. We’ve created a lot of buzz in the city the last couple of years, and being up there with the other teams in the city. Hopefully we can continue that here. And we didn’t win this year so it should make us hungry going into next year, and we have a lot to look forward to going into next season.

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