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because he didnt think he was g • Author: jinshuiqian0713, Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:30 am

CALGARY – Inside the Boston Bruins locker room, its not uncommon to hear winger Milan Lucic referred to as "Bob." As in Bob McKenzie. Apparently the NHL power forward and NHL on TSN Hockey Insider have a lot in common. "Oh yeah, yeah, its something thats very well known in our room," said a smiling Brad Marchand, who, like Lucic, was invited to this weeks Hockey Canada orientation camp. Lucic has earned the comparison for a number of reasons. For one, he seems to have a scouting report on every player in the league filed away in his brain. Also, he is knowledgeable about the history of the game. But, mostly, he can recite statistics on command. "I think [Bruins coach] Claude [Julien] may even throw some statistics out, which Looch corrects him on," said Marchand. "He knows everything and you just dont want to argue with him when he speaks." "He loves stats – and not just in hockey," said Julien. "Its in football, its in baseball. He just really likes stats. Every once in a while, you kind of look at him after you say something stats-wise to see if hes disagreeing or agreeing. Its almost like the [Dustin Hoffman character in the 1988 movie] Rain Man." "Hes so funny," said teammate Patrice Bergeron. "If you say a stat about the score ending up being 6-4, you better have it right because hell let you know and tell you it was 6-5 and, This guy actually scored with 1:18 left, or whatever it was. Hes very good with numbers, actually impressive with numbers. I dont know how he does it." Yes, how does Lucic explain it? "I was always good at math in high school and thats why," he said with a shrug. Bergeron has a different theory. "I guess we all know what he does with his spare time," he said in an accusatory tone, "going online and trying to memorize the scores." Lucic insists thats not true. "I dont actually," he said. "I look at it once and usually remember it." You dont have to be a mathematician to see Lucic is facing an uphill battle to make the 2014 Canadian Olympic team. The competition in Sochi will be on a larger surface and Lucics size (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), which makes him a menacing force in the NHL, may be considered a weakness overseas. Although the Vancouver native doesnt see it that way. "The way that I played has got me here, right? And I think if you ask all the guys here, the main focus going into this season is not to try out for Team Canada, its to be your best for the team youre playing for. I have to play the way that the Bruins expect me to play and the way I expect me to play. If I do get chosen for the team, I do have to play a certain way and Im sure Ill be put in a role that suits my game the best." Lucic has an advocate on the Canadian coaching staff as Julien will serve as an assistant to head coach Mike Babcock. "In Milans case, once he gets going hes a pretty good skater," said Julien. "I think the question mark has always been him having quick feet from the get-go. On the big ice, for the most part, we plan on having our guys moving their feet, keeping their feet moving, dont plan on having them standing still too much. For him, it gives him a better opportunity. Like I said, once he starts to skate, hes not a bad skater. Youve seen him beat guys to the net with speed. Youve seen him on the forecheck beat guys to the puck because of his speed. His biggest deficiency is when hes not skating, standing still, thats where hes got to improve. Hes got an opportunity to do that, this first half of the season, prove that he can play on the big ice." Lucic has helped his cause by staying in great shape throughout the off-season. He took just one week off after the crushing Stanley Cup loss to Chicago before starting his workouts. "The main thing for me was, I felt really good about myself and my game with how things ended and how I played throughout the playoffs so I didnt take much time off and I wanted to kind of keep that going and keep that high, you know?" Lucic hasnt gained any weight during the off-season and is feeling much healthier overall. "I had some things that were kind of bothering me that werent allowing my body to train as hard as I used to and Ive rectified a couple of those problems and its starting to feel better in the gym," said Lucic, who refused to elaborate on what was plaguing him earlier. Lucic is also mentally refreshed after what was, at times, a trying year. The playoffs marked the high point after he endured a hellish regular season, which actually saw him end up as a healthy scratch at one point. Looking back on that now, Lucic actually believes it was something he needed to experience. "I had a million meetings [when things were going wrong]. Obviously, there was a lot of honesty in a lot of them, but also I thought there was a lot of faith from the people I was talking to as I was trying to get myself back on track and that gave me a type of confidence. One of my assistant coaches said, Just go back to playing reckless, and thats what helped me the most. "Sometimes you have to go through what I went through during the season. Sometimes it lights that fire up again. You need that to rejuvenate yourself. I think thats what happened last year. Hopefully I can start the way I ended last year." Lucic had just seven goals and 20 assists in 46 regular season games. In the playoffs, though, he had seven goals and 12 assists in 22 games. "Im a positive-minded guy so you kind of try to focus more on the positives than the negatives. Obviously, team-wise it was a disappointment with how it ended, but personally there were a lot of positives I could take out of the way I played in the playoffs." Lucic loves numbers and one hes well aware of is 25, his age. Hes in the prime of his career and realizes his Olympic window may be closing. "You never know when you can have this opportunity again and when that next opportunity arises. Im 29 by [the next Olympics] and who knows what kind of beating my body could take in the next four years." Lucic also notes there is no guarantee NHL players will be taking part in the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. But for now, hes focused purely on this season. "Its definitely a great opportunity to look forward to and, like I said, you want to go back to your hockey club and your organization and play the best you can for them and I think thats going to give you the best chance to fulfill your dream of playing for Canada." Wholesale Paul George Shoes . Curtis Davies and Robert Koren secured the victory with goals inside 35 minutes of the fifth-round replay against the second-tier side. Clearance Paul George Shoes . His absence against the Celtics comes a day after he scored 43 points in the Heats 100-96 win at Cleveland. -- Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith has been ruled out for Sundays game against the Atlanta Falcons. Paul George Shoes Outlet . HABS HEADED TO CONFERENCE FINAL The Montreal Canadiens scored early in Game Seven, built a lead and protected it well on their way to a 3-1 series-clinching win over the Boston Bruins. While this game or series isnt necessarily a referendum on the value of fourth lines, the Canadiens certainly benefitted from production lower down their forward depth chart. Paul George Shoes For Sale . TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted on Monday that Hemsky will be going to market as an unrestricted free agent on July 1.MALMO, SWEDEN - Mathew Dumba has been rooming with 17-year-old Aaron Ekblad during the World Junior Hockey Championship and has noticed something about his younger teammate. "He has the body of like a 35, 40-year-old. The guy shaves his chest every week. I cant believe it. Hes a man-child. Hes like, I dont know, just a huge human being. I call him Shrek," said Dumba while a bemused Ekblad stood a few metres away shaking his head. Dumba isnt the first person to notice that Ekblad, along with Kootenay Ice forward Sam Reinhart - a top contender to be the No. 1 pick in the next NHL draft, seems to be growing at a ridiculously fast rate. "The Shrek thing actually started with Boone Jenner when we were playing against the Oshawa Generals back in the day," explained Ekblad, a 6-foot-4, 216-pound defenceman, who plays for the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League. "A couple of the guys, [including] Michael Dal Colle, picked it up and a guy on my team, Brendan Lemieux, picked it up and some other guys started calling me that and it kind of caught on a little bit. "Im not sure I like it too much, though." Wait a second. Is Ekblad not a fan of Shrek, a 2001 movie named for the main character, a large green ogre voiced by Mike Myers? "No, I like Shrek," Ekblad says not missing a beat. "Im just not sure I look like him." The quick-witted Ekblad, the second of now four players granted exceptional status in the OHL allowing them to be drafted at age 15, thinks just as fast on the ice. Despite being the second-youngest player on Team Canada, he has been among the top minute munchers while playing alongside Pittsburgh Penguins 2012 first-round pick (eighth overall) Derrick Pouliot. Ekblad has learned a lot from the Portland Winterhawks blueliner. "Wow, poise, hes got so much poise and patience with the puck," Ekblad said. "He can hold onto the puck and just wait for the other guy to move and pull it back, pull it back ... paying attention thats what Ive learned: just be more patient and poised with the puck and things will work out." Being paired with Pouliot allowed Ekblad a chance to ease into an event normally dominated by 19-year-olds. "Hes so good with the puck and so poised with it that it kind of lets me play more of a defensive game," he said. "I can kind of support him and let him do his thing and Ill be behind him if he makes a mistake or something like that." But Ekblad would not be able to maintain his prominent role on Team Canada without an ability to adapt quickly. Head coach Brent Sutter has already shown the leash will be short with players regardlesss of age as 16-year-old Connor McDavid found out on Saturday.dddddddddddd. He was stapled to the bench after a pair of penalties in a loss to the Czech Republic and started the next game, Monday against Slovakia, as the 13th forward. "With young kids mistakes at this level are going to happen," said Sutter, "but Ekblad learns from it. Hes a sponge for the game. Thats what happens with an intelligent player: they pick things up quickly. You dont have to tell him twice. He gets it pretty quick." "If he does something a little off hell correct it right away," Pouliot said. "Thats what you have to do at this tournament and it shows how mature he is that hes able to make those switches on the fly." The latest tweak Ekblad has made has to do with the defensive side of his game. "I didnt block a shot in the Czech game, which was one of the things Ive been focusing on a lot since then," the Belle River, Ont. native said. "In the U.S. game I had quite a few blocks and tried to focus on making sure no pucks are getting through to the net." At Wednesdays practice, Ekblad and his teammates drew the ire of Sutter for a sloppy start to a drill. And Ekblad received the message loud and clear. "You can never be too precise. The takeaway was: lets get pucks on the stick. Lets do things right and things will work out for us." Ekblad has remained even-keeled even as Canada stumbled at times during the round robin. "Its been a roller-coaster of emotions throughout this entire tournament so far," he admits. Its also been a learning experience. "Ive just learned that at every level its going to get faster and faster and you have to be ready for it. You cant make the same mistakes twice. You have to just take in everything that happens out there and realize youre going to get better and learn things every day." Ekblad is relishing this opportunity, because he didnt think he was going to get it. Back in September he considered himself a longshot to make the squad after not being among the 35 players invited by Hockey Canada to a summer evaluation camp in Lake Placid, NY. And now here he is kibitzing with Dumba, who has been playing in the NHL this year with the Minnesota Wild. "Hes a good guy," said Ekblad. "Theres not much to say about him. He likes to just be a weird guy once in a while." "What?" Dumba, who was standing beside Ekblad in the interview area, exclaimed in mock horror. "What is this guy talking about? I cant even do these interviews." Both players laugh along with the assembled reporters. "Yeah," Ekblad says with a sigh, "we have a good time together." ' ' '

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