DETROIT – Milan Lucic certainly isn’t accustomed to being cheered on the road, or being made to feel like he’s an honored guest. His physical, intimidating style can oftentimes make him one of the most readily cast villains for opposing fans, and he’s been a constant source of boos at Montreal's Bell Centre since very early in his Bruins career.
But there had never really been an organized, strong “Lucic sucks” chant in an NHL building until Tuesday night when the Red Wings fans serenaded the Bruins power forward every time he hopped onto the ice. It’s clear they've made him their Boston Bad Guy for the duration of the Stanley Cup playoff series after his regrettable spear to the groin of Danny DeKeyser in Game 1 that earned him a $5,000 fine from the NHL.
It was actually a fairly quiet game from Lucic in Game 3 amid the boos and catcalls, but the B’s left winger acknowledged the hostile treatment while hoping to respond to it in the proper way.
“It’s one of those things that really makes the game great. When the fans are into it, it makes the game a lot more fun to play,” said Lucic with a big grin on his face after Wednesday's practice. “The crowd was great here yesterday, and we expect it to maybe even go up a notch for [Game 4].
“You want to use it in a positive way, right? You want to try to get it to fire you up. That’s how I react to it. I want it to really fire me up.”
Lucic did have three shots on net in Game 3 amid the unfriendly environs at Joe Louis Arena, and has one goal and six shots on net in the first three games while his line still hasn’t really exploded offensively quite yet. But there’s no doubting that Lucic is properly motivated to quiet down the Red Wings fans on Thursday night after they made him the target of their postseason ire two days ago.