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Unlike many of his teammates, Milan Lucic did not play overseas during last season's lockout. When hockey returned to the States, he looked unprepared.
Though he was throwing his usual big hits, he was rarely hitting the net. The former 30-goal scorer struck just seven times in the shortened season, averaging a measly .56 points per game.
It was Lucic's worst season since an injury-plagued 2009-10 campaign, leading coach Claude Julien to drop him from the lineup with the playoffs approaching.
Luckily for Lucic and the Bruins, things got a lot better in the postseason. The 25-year-old put up 19 points in 22 games, feeding off of red-hot linemates David Krejci and Nathan Horton.
In light of recent seasons, the time has come to reassess the intimidating forward. The winger's early success made him Boston's primary scoring option, a role in which he failed to thrive.
Once thought to be a dominant power forward capable of leading an offense, he now looks more like a solid complementary player with a big upside in bursts.
Jarome Iginla will replace him as the primary threat to light the lamp on the Krejci line, which should relieve Lucic of pressure.
As Krejci's No. 2 target in front of the goal, he might have an easier time producing. Expect a decent bounce-back season from the six-year vet, but don't count on him to set career highs.
||Points per Game