The Importance of the Bruins' 2010 Collapse: Milan Lucic Reflects on its Role in the 2011 Victory

Austin Sabourin
June 8, 2023  (5:11)

In the 2009-2010 season, the Philadelphia Flyers, who barely secured a spot in the Playoffs, faced off against the determined Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

Initially, it appeared that the series was all but decided as the Bruins dominated, taking an impressive three-game lead. However, the Flyers managed the unthinkable by staging a remarkable comeback and forcing a decisive seventh game, ultimately becoming the third team in NHL history to overturn such a deficit and emerge victorious.
Milan Lucic, a former Boston Bruin who was part of the 2009-2010 roster, strongly believes that the team's struggles and defeat in the 2010 playoffs played a pivotal role in their subsequent success. Lucic expressed this viewpoint during his appearance on the Nasty Knuckles Podcast, emphasizing, "I don't think we would have won in 2011 if we hadn't gone through 2010."
Furthermore, Lucic acknowledged the significant impact of Mike Richards and Simon Gagne on the Flyers' success. He pointed out that when Richards hit David Krejci, causing him to be sidelined, the Flyers gained an advantage by welcoming back Gagne, one of their top wingers. Gagne made a noteworthy contribution, scoring approximately four goals in the five games he played.
In game four, with the Flyers on the verge of elimination, the Bruins swiftly took a commanding 3-0 lead in the first period. However, Philadelphia once again demonstrated resilience. The turning point came when Brian Boucher, the Flyers' goaltender, suffered knee injuries after a collision involving defenseman Ryan Parent and Bruins forward Miroslav Satan. Micheal Leighton stepped in as the replacement goaltender. In an intense overtime, Simon Gagne secured a 4-3 victory for the Flyers, forcing the series back to Boston. Interestingly, Lucic conveyed that the Bruins were unfazed by the game four loss, seemingly brushing it off and confidently stating, "We will get them in game 5 at home."
However, things didn't go as anticipated, as the Flyers pushed the series to a decisive game seven. This game held particular significance for Milan Lucic, who scored the first two goals for the Bruins. Although Boston took a 3-0 lead, the Flyers refused to surrender and managed to narrow the gap with a goal in the first period. Lucic candidly recalled his thoughts during the game, expressing, "I thought, 'Oh no, now there's some hope on that side.'" Philadelphia capitalized on that glimmer of hope, with Simon Gagne scoring a power play goal that ultimately clinched the series victory and propelled the Flyers forward. Lucic acknowledged that the most significant outcome of that experience was the Bruins' management team's decision not to dismantle the roster or dismiss the coach. Apart from one trade, they maintained the team's core, recognizing that their journey from last to first in 2011 would not have been possible without enduring the trials of 2010.
JUNE 8   |   74 ANSWERS
The Importance of the Bruins' 2010 Collapse: Milan Lucic Reflects on its Role in the 2011 Victory

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