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Hes in the prime of his career and realize

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    January 13, 2020 11:21 AM MSK

    CALGARY – Inside the Boston Bruins locker room, its not uncommon to hear winger Milan Lucic referred to as "Bob. Patrick Willis Super Bowl Jersey ." 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." Ronnie Lott Super Bowl Jersey . - Suspended Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon has voluntarily checked into a treatment facility and seems to be doing well. Dante Pettis Super Bowl Jersey . Costa Rica followed up its wins over Uruguay and Italy by holding England to a dour 0-0 draw on Tuesday, enough to finish first in Group D. KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals have traded infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for cash considerations. The 25-year-old Paredes was designated for assignment on July 16, when the Royals acquired right-handed pitcher Jason Frasor. Paredes joiined Kansas City on Feb. Jeff Wilson Super Bowl Jersey. 17,claimed off waivers from the Orioles. He played in nine games for the Royals this season, with two hits in 10 at-bats along with two steals and three runs scored. The switch-hitter was batting .305 with five homers and 36 RBI at Triple-A Omaha. ' ' '