The previous time the Penguins got a firsthand look at Milan Lucic, he was a lot less imposing than usual.
Mostly because he was in street clothes.
Lucic was a healthy scratch in he Penguins' 3-2 victory April 20 in Boston, likely the nadir of his forgettable regular season.
But, barring a late injury or illness, he is sure to be in the Bruins lineup when they face the Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final.
Odds are the Penguins won't have a hard time noticing him, and not only because Lucic is 6 feet 4, 220 pounds.
He has been a force throughout these playoffs, putting up three goals and seven assists in 12 games and leading the Bruins with 55 hits, which is 10 more than any teammate.
"I'm definitely not surprised that he's playing this well in the playoffs," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "It's definitely [suited to] his style of play."
That style often involves overpowering the opponents charged with containing him, which makes it tough to keep him out of the parts of the ice where he can do the most offensive damage.
"Any bigger, skilled guy, once they're in an area where they want to be, you're not going to be able to move them," defenseman Mark Eaton said. "So you try to play them early and keep them to the outside, try to prevent them from getting into the good scoring areas."
Physicality not only is a major attribute for Lucic, but usually the key to maximizing his overall impact.
"He's a guy who, when he's physical and gets his physical game going, the rest of his game will take shape," Orpik said.
"I think he falls victim, sometimes, when he tries to be a little too cute and relies a little too much on finesse; he does have some skill, but I think that comes as a byproduct of how physical he is. When he's physical, he opens up a lot of space for himself."
Orpik plays a rugged game, too, so he might find himself matched against Lucic's line, which includes David Krejci and Nathan Horton.
"You have to be physical on him, or he's going to out-muscle you," Orpik said. "Playing between whistles, the stuff after the whistle, that only gets him fired up, gets him going.
"I think Horton's the same way. Both of those guys, if they're involved, physically, right from the start, that's usually when they're at their best."
The best way to avoid that, Orpik suggested, might be to avoid riling Lucic in the first place.
"Don't [upset him]) too much, I think, is the biggest key," he said, chuckling. "Don't wake a sleeping giant."
All hands on deck
Wingers Chris Kunitz and James Neal, neither of whom practiced Sunday, participated in the Penguins' hourlong workout at Consol Energy Center Monday with no apparent problem.
That means the Penguins, who are believed to have lost just six man-games to injuries in Rounds 1 and 2, should enter the Eastern final with everyone available.
"With the exception of one or two instances, we've been blessed with a full lineup -- a full, healthy group of guys -- here for the playoffs," coach Dan Bylsma said. "We went into the playoffs with one or two injuries [Orpik and Sidney Crosby], but we've been healthy and have stayed healthy so far, to this point.
"With this week, not knowing exactly when the start date [for the Boston series] is, some guys ... did take an extra day to get the rest and to get healed back up. ... With this week, especially, we'll be able to heal up from some of the bumps and bruises we did have, even though [guys] may have been playing with them."
Morrow's trade unlike Iginla's
Some reports in Boston have suggested that wingers Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow took a parallel path in being traded to the Penguins late in the season. That both veterans, who had contract clauses that gave them the ability to help steer any trade, chose the Penguins over the Bruins.
Iginla invoked his no-movement clause to veto a deal to Boston before approving one to the Penguins, but Morrow said that's not how it happened with him.
"I know that they were talking, but it didn't get to the situation [where I had to choose]," he said.
He said when Joe Nieuwendyk, then the general manager of Dallas, approached him, it was all about going to the Penguins.
"Mr. Niieuwendyk didn't give me options," Morrow said. "It was, 'Would you like to make this trade happen?'
"I heard the rumors and I knew there were other teams involved, but it wasn't an option for me. It was one choice, and I wanted to do that."