Lucic named 'toughest' in NHL player poll

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Lucic named 'toughest' in NHL player poll

ST. PAUL, MN The Bruins have longed to forge an identity as a tough team to play against and their success in that department is undeniable.

The Bs have a Stanley Cup championship built on the back of that rough reputation, and now it appears the team holds the overwhelming respect of their opponents around the NHL.

The NHLPA and CBCs Hockey Night in Canada released a joint poll of over 250 NHL players on a wide range of questions about the leagues best players. And there were Bruins at the top of the list in a bevy of categories.

Bruins power forward Milan Lucic was voted the toughest player in the NHL with fellow teammates Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton voted in by their peers as No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in that category.

Lucic took 20 percent of the vote from the NHL player voting.

For Lucic it was an honor and a testament to how good hes become as a reliable goal scorer, a feared fighter, and a player that can intimidate with his bone-rattling body checks.

Its good, obviously. Its good to hear that youre recognized by your peers with something like that, Lucic said. Its an honor to be recognized around the league as being a tough player. I take a lot of pride in being tough and Ive just got to keep it up.

Its not just me. I think our whole team does a great job with that. Playing with Chara and Thornton and normally having Nathan Horton on my line really helps in the toughness element.

Lucic also joked he might have a target on his back in practice with Chara and Thornton coming after him to prove who is toughest.

Patrice Bergeron was voted the most underrated player in the NHL with nine percent of the vote, and Chara was voted as holding the hardest shot and being the toughest defenseman to play against in the poll.

Interestingly enough 24 percent of the NHL players polled also voted the Vancouver Canucks as the most overrated team in the NHL further cementing their reputation as one of the most disliked teams in the league.

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

CHICAGO -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to Chicago:

 

QUOTES:

"He's rarely in the middle of the plate. He pitches to the edge very effectively. He's got a number of different looks he can give you.'' - John Farrell on White Sox starter Jose Quintana.

"We have such a heavily righthand-hitting lineup, you would think that our guys would be able to handle the off-side pitching coming at them. . . We're capable of more.'' - Farrell on the Sox 0-3 record against lefty starters.

"He's done everything that we could have asked, to get deep into games and low run situations -- and not just this year. This goes back to when he was in the rotation last year.'' - Farrell on tough-luck loser Steven Wright.

"That's what I'm working for every time.'' - Carson Smith on his scoreless inning in his Red Sox debut.

"It is what it is. Keep working and try to be ready on whatever opportunities come. That's all I can say about that.'' - Chris Young, on the infrequency of lefty starters.

"A little frustrated with the walks. I gave them the second run with the walks. When I'm out there throwing 20 pitches an inning, it's hard to get into a rhythm.'' - Steven Wright.

 

NOTES

* The Red Sox have faced three lefty starters this season and are 0-3. They've managed two runs in 23 innings and hit just .108 (8-for-74) against them.

* When the opposition scores first, the Red Sox are 5-6 this season.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to nine games with a sixth-inning single.

* Dating back to last season, Steven Wright hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in his last nine starts.

* Hanley Ramirez's homer in the fifth was his first since April 6, covering 96 at-bats.

 

STARS

1) Jose Quintana

Chicago's starter was brilliant, allowing a single run in eight innings on just four hits without issuing a walk.

2) Jose Abreu

The White Sox first baseman drove in three of the four White Sox runs with a first-inning triple and a two-run double in the eighth.

3) Steven Wright

Once again, the knuckballer got almost no run support and was stuck with the loss despite allowing just two runs in six innings.