Lucic: Playing unknown Blackhawks will be 'odd'

Lucic: Playing unknown Blackhawks will be 'odd'
June 11, 2013, 7:30 pm
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CHICAGO – Milan Lucic called it “the most odd and the most interesting” thing going into the Cup Finals, and most of the players on both the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks agreed when asked how they felt playing a team they hadn’t seen all season for the Stanley Cup.

In fact the Bruins have faced the Blackhawks since playing a road game at the United Center back in October 2011 when they were still amidst the Cup hangover doldrums, and it’s difficult to get a feel for their Western Conference opponents.

The Bruins knew their first round opponents, the Toronto Maple Leafs, like the back of their hands, and have plenty of high profile regular season battles against the Rangers and Penguins in the recent past. But no amount of video or watching Chicago on TV will give the Bruins any kind of feeling for what it’s going to be like when they get on the ice for Game 1 on Wednesday night.

“What will make this series so fun is that both teams don’t know what to expect going in. We haven’t played them since October, 2011, so both teams are excited, and I don’t think it’s going to take long for the rivalry and battle to kick up in this series,” said Milan Lucic. “As you guys know, I like to watch a lot of hockey. You can watch as much hockey as you want, but you don’t get a real feel for another team until you play against them. Hopefully the feeling out process doesn’t take too long, but the rivalry shouldn’t take long to get going.”

The only guy that does have inside knowledge of the Penguins: Jaromir Jagr. The Dallas Stars played the Blackhawks twice before Jagr was dealt to the Bruins in April, and he saw them in the middle of their 21-0-3 stretch in the first 24 regular season games that captivated the entire sports world. Needless to say, he was impressed.

“When we played them in Dallas, I thought they were the best team in that conference, for sure. They played different hockey than any other teams in that conference,” said Jagr. “They're quick, and so talented up front, and quick on defense.

“I think it was a huge difference compared to other teams. They're so fast and everybody can move the puck on their defense. So we have to be careful of that.”

So the rest of the Bruins players will know what Jagr has already learned about the Blackhawks this season: they’re pretty damned good.