(Photo Credit: Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)

By Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter @adbblue

If you’ve tuned into the Boston Bruin’s first two games of their Centennial season, you’ve noticed the TD Garden crowd blaring “LOOOOOOCH!” any chance they get. That is, of course, in regards to fan favorite Milan Lucic returning to Boston and once again wearing the spoked B.

But perhaps you’ve also noticed that the big power forward looks like he’s been shot out of a cannon through the first two games. Lucic has certainly been noticeable, and he’s brought a spark to the Boston lineup thus far. 

The Bruins 2006 second-round pick has looked pretty comfortable in his role, having an impact in both games out of the gate. Lucic has been skating on the fourth line in the left-wing spot and has been a presence. He seems to have built some good chemistry with his linemates, John Beecher and Jakub Lauko. In the first game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the line was at the center of generating a few good scoring chances. 

That earned Lucic a shift with David Pastrnak, and he took advantage of the opportunity, breaking through center ice and creating two-on-one. The big number 17 set up Pastrnak with a nice little backhand pass that was zipped into the back of the net. The goal ended up being the game-winner en route to a 3-1 victory. It’s also been noticeable that Lucic has been able to keep up with the game’s fast pace. 

In the second game against the Nashville Predators, Lucic’s line was again given the game’s opening shift. He immediately made his presence known by leveling Nashville forward Dante Fabbro hard into the end boards. That would be just the first of five hits the big winger delivered in that game, and his physicality helped set the tone for the rest of the team. Boston finished the 3-2 win with 26 total hits on the night.

Another thing Lucic provides to the Bruins is an additional veteran voice in the dressing room. He helps fill the void of guys like Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, who retired, and Nick Foligno and Taylor Hall, who were traded to Chicago in the off-season. Also, having played with Boston before and knowing the culture made his transition back to wearing the Black and Gold seamless. 

As head coach Jim Montgomery noticed, Lucic is as in good shape as he’s ever been in his career. “Lucic had a really good training camp, came in in really good shape.” Now it’s only two games into the season, so it will have to wait to be seen if the year 35-year-old can keep up with how he’s played thus far. 

This is the 17th season of Lucic’s career, and the physical style he plays is difficult to maintain over the course of 82 games. He is also sure to have a few scraps here and there, especially with the addition of a couple of other tough guys in the division. But right now, it seems as if returning to Boston has rejuvenated the man they call “Looch,” and he looks like a man reborn to start the 2023-24 campaign.