Not that his super speed was ever an issue, but it’s becoming more noticeable, now, when she’s 6ft 3, 240lbs. The tire snaps at high speed what kind of force are we dealing with.
Whether it’s an increase in lower body thrust, willpower, or a combination of the two, Lucik – in the eyes of his teammates – looks as good as he has been for a long time.
“I love playing with Looch,” Tyler Toffoli He said about the possibility of his reunion with the big guy tonight, with Elias Lindholm in the center. “I had the best year of my career playing him as a left winger (in LA). I hope we can boost that. We had two bouts in the last game and we have some good chances as well.
“He’s playing great and I’m excited.”
The feeling, for sure, is mutual.
The former Kings placed over 50 points each as companions during the 2015-16 season at Tinsel Town. Toffoli’s 31 goals that year represented a career high, while Lucic had a professional best of 35 assists.
“I think we’re all trying to go in the right direction and the previous chemistry with (Tovoli) gives us some confidence if we play together,” said Lucic, who has provided three assists in seven games this year. “It was one of his best years and also one of my best years as well, playing a lot together. I hope we can find the right chemistry (from) the start.
“Harmony, predictability, being open to each other and playing that kind of game. That’s what makes good companions and like I said, we have to do what we do best and find each other when we are open to each other.”
With The Flames coming off a 3-2 loss to the Oilers on Saturday, coach Daryl Sutter shook the front lines in Monday’s training, noting some notable trends in how the team has been producing attack so far.
The Flames had chances with a bigger clip than they did this time last year (9.1 high-risk chances per game versus 6.9 through seven games in 2021). The difference this season, although the team’s record is nearly identical, was the ending. The Flames had 24 goals 5v5 this time last year versus 14 this fall.
Depending on the groups in Monday’s workout, the Lucic-Lindholm-Toffoli unit could make up one of the two best lines, while Nazim Qadri can mediate the other Jonathan Huberdeau And the Andrew Mangyapan on his wings.
So, is it a seismic shift? not exactly. But with a change in the first two axes and Lucic getting a chance in the top six, tonight’s clash with the Kraken promises to be full of intrigue.
“(Lindholm)’s game is about the details,” Sutter said. “It goes without saying, he’s a very good two-way player – as good a player as he is in this position, so he has to stick to those details. He has to be strong at pucks, he has to claim the puck, he has to move the puck. And then he has to be good at the little things – confrontations, disc fights, shot percentages, things like that. This is what he is proud of.
“There are no bad (matches) with Lindy. He wants to produce more, doesn’t he? That’s what he wants and he’s going to do. That has nothing to do with trying or consistency or effort. That’s just what’s getting hot.”
“Quite frankly, our three players are strong players. Mikael (Backlund) is arguably our best, but Naz and Lidy, these are strong guys that you can trust in a lot of situations.”
Video: “You have to work… for your chances”
So, it begs the question: Does this make life easier on the wings?
But if they don’t stick to the end of the bargain, it doesn’t matter much.
“That makes those wingers play better,” Sutter explained. “It hasn’t been a strong suit for either of our wards yet.”
Enter Lucic (and Huberdeau, Mangiapane, and Toffoli). All eyes will be on them tonight as the flames search for their rhythm offensively.
“Just playing with the power,” Lucic said of The Key. “Get out there, (have fun), (play) with confidence and all that kind of stuff. I think the main thing is sometimes the mentality has to be a lot less. Sometimes you think, ‘Oh, I’ve got to do this,'” I must do it.
“Sometimes you can get carried away and overthink things, so when you simplify your game and go out there and have fun and play with energy, you bring that youth into your game.
“This year, we’ve had tougher practices than in past years. I think this is designed that way, so if players are put in different positions, they are in good shape and are able to play for more minutes and with the same difficulty if they are called up.”
Video: “That’s big here tonight”