Other than a Stanley Cup Playoff game or a one-game playoff with the winner making the playoffs and the loser going home there may never be a regular season game where Lucic could have shown the fire, guts and sheer attitude that made him the most feared winger in the game than last night. What did he do, another complete no-show.
I'm fairly certain most fans would be happy with a 15-20 goal season out of Lucic if he also played that same aggressive, hard charging style he did when he first came into the league. However if he's not going to score and he's not going to hit anyone what is he capable of? He's not a speed guy like Paille, he's doesn't create offense for others like Krejci. His value is rooted in hitting, intimidating and scoring. And let's face it, these aspects of his game are absoultely missing fom his game.
With Soderberg being ready to play it's time for Lucic to watch a few games from the 9th floor. Before all the trolls start with "Soderberg's never played in the NHL, blah blah blah. My point is not what necessarily what Soderberg is or isn't or will become. What we have in him is the potential of something. What that something actually turns into is TBA. It's more about what Lucic is providing right now, which is nothing beyond not hitting, not scoring, not intimidating while also blowing every scoring chance he has, not skating and turning the puck over like it's giong out of style.
You can't live on the past and with Lucic that's where his good play lies, in the past. There's been more than a large enough sample size to work with here, he's in a funk. Can he still work out of it and be a force in the playoffs, maybe? But from what I've seen I doubt it not only based on his play this year but lets be realists here, the last two playoff years he's been an absolute no show as well.
The bigger problem is still in the distance. What to do with Lucic next year? He's going to be the highest paid forward on the team next year and he hasn't even come close to playing as well as someone like Dan Paille or Gregory Campbell. With the cap going down to $64M next year, $6M for what Lucic has given this year could force the Bruins to try and trade him or god forbid use the amnesty buyout (something I seriously doubt Jacobs would approve anyway and something I don't think would be a smart move regardless).
I'm not going to post line suggestions because the last time I did two days ago I had Lucic on the fourth line and some trolls barked the "how do you suggest such a thing" crap. Instead I'll ask what player of these forwards does Lucic deserve to play over, you tell me?
Krejci, Jagr, Bergeron, Marchand, Seguin, Paille, Campbell, Peverly, Kelly, Horton, Thorton or Soderberg?
Okay maybe Thorton, Peverly and Soderberg (depending on what he shows) but what does this say? It says he's as valuable "RIGHT NOW" as Thorton, Peverly or a guy that's never skated in the NHL and it certainly says he has no business on the top two lines or the power play (RIGHT NOW).
Trolls and Lucic remeberists (not Lucic's actually play this year and his play in the playoffs the last two yeas) have at it. But I'll say this Lucic could still be a force if he wants to play that way but based on his play (not my opinions) and sure seems he's not interested in being that player of yesteryear.