If the entire Flames collective showed a morsel of the fight Milan Lucic did at the Saddledome last night, we’d be discussing an entirely different result.
Lucic was an angry bear last night, and rightly so. The Flames didn’t play with the urgency you’d expect from a team on five days rest who’d lost three successive games.
The rough-and-tumble forward’s intent was clear from the opening face-off. He forechecked well, put pressure on the Sens defence and inflicted a few notable hits on the enemy from the capital.
His impressive performance was highlighted by a donnybrook reminiscent of the good old days. You have to give credit to Scott Sabourin, who stood up to the enraged Flame. Lucic threw, and landed, some fierce haymakers, eventually knocking the Sens right winger to the ground.
Milan Lucic hands after his fight last night. pic.twitter.com/TdaLhv9Rs4
— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerDC) January 14, 2022
It was about the only battle the Flames won all evening. One would have thought Lucic’s inspiring brawl was the catalyst the Flames were looking for.
But less than a minute later, just before the end of the second, Noah Hanifin coughed up the puck and blew a tire in the process, allowing Drake Batherson to score and put the game to bed.
Lucic had a quintessentially Sutter-esque evening. He forechecked, doled out four hits, got into an epic no-holds-barred brawl and had two shots on goal. He clearly deserved better than swollen, cut-up hands in the disheartening 4-1 loss.
Such is the reality in a team sport in which results are entirely dependent on the performance of the collective.
The locker room today, regardless of the result, are in Lucic’s debt. At least he put up a fight, which is more than I can say for the rest of the lads.