Admit it. You’d love to see Milan Lucic in a Habs jersey.
I mean, really. What a drag. Every team – heck every person – needs a villain, a bad guy, a bogeyman, and for us long-suffering fans in the Habs Nations, the designated baddie for the past years has been Milan Lucic. And now he’s gone.
Traded by the suddenly-not-so-big, suddenly-not-so-bad Bruins to the Los Angeles Kings, in return for a bag of pucks (okay actually netminder Martin Jones, D prospect Colin Miller and the 13th pick in this year’s draft, but you get the idea). Worse, for the Bs and their fans, the Bruins are still paying part of Lucic’s salary.
And we’ve lost the guy who had dibs on the title of the most hated man in Montreal (as a good pal told Milan’s mother one day, but that’s a long story). Who we gonna hate now? Lucic was it. Now the Canadiens are going to see him at best twice a year unless that much-anticipated Habs-Kings final turns into a reality real soon.
The Lucic hate-a-thon goes back years. Think back to all the battles between Mike Komisarek and Lussik – as his best bud Grapes likes to call him. Many believe the last time Lucic destroyed Komisarek, the D-man really was never the same again on the ice. The only guys who didn’t know that were the Leafs execs who thought giving him a wad of money was a good idea.
Then there’s that Lucic Alexei Emelin running bout last year, with Public Enemy No. 1 speering the Habs D-man right in the nuts while the ref wasn’t looking and then jabbing him with his stick in the stomach a couple of months later.
Last but not least there were the infamous handshake-line death threats after the Canadiens’ epic game-seven win over the Bruins in the 2014 playoffs – or as we call it in Montreal, the night we won the Stanley Cup.
Yeah it’s true Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand still wear the black-and-yellow but let’s face, neither is the foe they once were. Chara can still put Gally in a head-lock and carry him around the ice on occasion but the Big Man has slowed down significantly and I honestly don’t think he’s as bat-shit crazy as he once was. Marchand’s just a pest. He doesn’t even rate villain status.
The crazy thing is it kind of looks like we won’t even have the Bruins to kick around any more. When they changed the playoff format, we were all thinking we’d be battling the Bruins most every spring in the post-season – which is exactly what we love in both cities – but Chara’s squad didn’t make the playoffs this year and many figure they might not be back there any time soon. Did you read that Boston Herald column? Headline kind of says it all: ‘Bruins blueline takes giant step backward’. The focus there is almost giving Dougie Hamilton away to Calgary. The Herald’s Stephen Harris underlines that Hamilton joins quite the list of discarded Bruins talent – Phil Kessel, Joe Thornton, Tyler Seguin.
So maybe I need to re-write my own headline: We won’t have the Bruins to kick round any more.
You’d think us Habs fans would be happy. But we’re not. We lives for that rivalry. (Forget that bogus Leafs-Habs “rivalry”. That’s just hogwash made up by Hockey Night in Canada to sell advertising. You can’t be rivals with a cellar-dwelling team.)
We need to face the Bruins in the post-season and we loved to hate the ultimate Big Bad Bruin that was Milan Lucic. Milan, we’re gonna miss ya.
– Brendan Kelly