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Don’t expect a less aggressive Milan Lucic

Paul Gaustad, Milan Lucic

Buffalo Sabres’ Paul Gaustad (28) and Boston Bruins’ Milan Lucic (17) fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, Nov. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Derek Gee)


Just about every NHL team has a guy who can be an absolute force when everything clicks. A lot of pundits will criticize “light switch” players for their “off” nights, but the truth is that it’s not always that simple. Still, there’s some concern that a recent suspension and plenty of controversy might slow down the battering ram known as Milan Lucic.

Neither the Boston Bruins nor Lucic want the hulking winger to yield to the pressure to alter his approach, though, according to this story by’s Joe Haggerty.

“I can’t change my game,” Lucic said. “I play with a lot of emotion and I do everything I can to keep it safe and follow the guidelines of the new hitting protocol. Obviously a big part of my game is being physical and creating emotion, and I can’t lose that part of my game.”

That game happens to feature a frightening combination of killer instinct and imposing size, which means he’s prone to play the role of an occasional villain. Lucic joked about his appearance on last night’s episode of HBO 24/7, when Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds lambasted him for a supposed hit from behind, screaming “You know you did it, Looch!”

An unrepentant Lucic is a great thing for the Bruins and an unsettling thing for the NHL’s other 29 teams. There’s nothing wrong with him embracing a villainous role, as long as he isn’t tying anyone to train tracks or checking people skull-first.