This year brought a lot of changes for the big and bad power forward. Before the season even started he got married and just as the season got underway, his wife gave birth to their first child, Valentina. Being a new parent is hard enough for anyone to adjust to, let alone a professional athlete that has a set schedule that gets changed with the addition of a child. However, despite getting off to a slow start, he managed to place fifth on the team in scoring with 7 goals and 20 assists trailing the Bergeron line and linemate David Krejci.
Last season, he tied forwards Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand for the team’s leading scorer, tallying 26 goals and 35 assists for 61, one point shy from the previous season. Instead of continuing the pace he set, leaving the fisticuffs behind and soaring on the scoring front, he seemed to revert back to the big, bad bully fans came to love him for. With 5 fights in 46 games, he paced himself for the most fights in a single season since 2008-2009. Whlie he made strides in improvements last season, he took a few steps back this year. Perhaps it was the lack of play in the offseason or the changes at home, either way Lucic needed to find a way to be consistent.
The postseason seemed to snap Lucic out of his funk, showing more discipline and taking only 14 minutes of penalties. He scored as many goals in the postseason as he did in the regular season and was only 8 assists shy of matching his regular season total. Despite his definite turnaround, there’s still work for Lucic in the season to come. Much like last season, he needs to focus more on setting up plays and finishing his shots rather than finishing heavy hits.
Lucic may have had a rollercoaster performance this season, but he came to play when it mattered most, helping to carry his team through to the Final. Without his strong and disciplined efforts, the Bruins would have had a harder time advancing as far as they did.
Final Grade: B-