Milan Lucic spoke to the media for more than eight minutes here Tuesday so when he saw another gaggle of camera, notebooks and tape recorders around his locker this afternoon, did he exit stage left? No way. Went right through the line of people and stood in front of the locker to take everybody's best shot.
It's how he plays every night and nothing is changing tonight even though he's public enemy No. 1 in this town. How does he feel about that?
"It's happened to me before, a couple of years ago back in Montreal," Lucic said. "They still boo me there. It's something that comes with the game and helps build a rivalry. It's fun to be a part of rivalries like this."
Asked how strange it would be to become a bigger villain here than Zdeno Chara, Lucic smiled and said, "We'll have to wait and see what the reception is."
Like Lindy Ruff said earlier today, Lucic and Boston coach Claude Julien said Brendan Shanahan's call to the respective GMs won't really impact the way they approach the game. Lucic did admit he knows what the Sabres are going through; the Big, Bad Bruins got torched in their hometown two years ago for lack of response when Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke KO'd Marc Savard.
"It's not fun when media and people are pointing fingers around because of what happened and they start pointing fingers at guys in the room," Lucic said. "Definitely they're going to be prepared for this game, not just for this game because of the incident but also because they lost, 6-2. They're going to want to come back with a big effort so we know they're going to be fired up and ready to go tonight."
The Bruins have won nine straight and have outscored foes, 43-14, in that stretch. Yikes. Tim Thomas will play goal again tonight after posting shutouts in the last two games to extend his scoreless streak to 133:04. Thomas has three straight shutouts on the road -- a first in the NHL since Toronto's Ed Belfour in 2003-04 -- and a streak of 222:16 away from TD Garden.
Cracked Julien: "It doesn't take a brain surgeon to make that decision for tonight to go with your best goaltender."
Tonight's winner will move into first place in the Northeast with 26 points (tied with Toronto but with fewer games played). Hear Julien and Lucic's sessions with reporters below:
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