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Lucic goes on Boston radio, talks Miller hit: “The fans enjoyed it…it was entertaining for them.”

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Shortly after his meeting with NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan, Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic appeared in studio with “Felger & Mazz” on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.

Before we discuss the interview, some context — The Sports Hub is the Bruins’ flagship station (also, the Patriots). There’s a decidedly pro-Boston feel to its coverage…which is why it might not have been the smartest place for Lucic to appear immediately after meeting Shanahan.

You know, because the hit and hearing were kind of contentious. And still a touchy subject for the Sabres.

Regardless, here’s the clip. Some of the more choice quotes include:

On the Miller hit: “I could not have avoided him. (Laughs) No, I couldn’t have. And even if you look at the replay I straighten out my body to lessen the impact as much as I could. I mean, that’s not the type of player that I am to go around running goalies. Obviously the fans enjoyed it…it was entertaining for them.”

On if he believes the hit caused Miller’s concussion: “All I can say is that it’s unfortunate he got hurt. He got hit later on in the period when [Ville] Leino pushed [Tyler] Seguin into him — he got hit just as hard. You get bowled over twice like that, something’s going to happen and it’s unfortunate he got hurt.”

On Miller saying Lucic outweighs him by 50 pounds and calling him a piece of (expletive): “Correction on the 50 pounds…I think I’m 60 pounds heavier than him. (Laughs) So that’s one point. You know what? Whatever. He wanted to stick around and say what he said…I’m not the type of guy that likes to talk trash in the media and I’m not gonna stir things up. If I wanna talk trash, I’ll talk it on the ice so he can hear it directly.”

On Buffalo’s lack of response: “I’m not calling their team out…all I’m gonna say is everyone knows if it happened on our end of the stick what would happen. (Host asks: What would happen?) Well, how we would react — and we’ve shown in the past how we do react.”

On if he thinks this kind of hit should be legal: “Even though we made contact (Laughs)…We made a lot of contact (Host: “You ran him!”)…I braced myself to try and lessen the impact. But if a guy is going out of his way to bury a goalie, I don’t think there’s anything like that. But if it’s a collision that’s unavoidable, there’s nothing you can do about it.”

You can forgive Lucic for what at times sounded like nervous, uncomfortable laughter, but that’s about it. Regardless of what you thought of the hit, joking about it on air with Wacko Willy and The Boosh (or whatever they’re called) isn’t the savviest PR move.

At best, it sounds like he’s having a chuckle at Miller and at worst, he sounds like a sixth-grader that just pulled one over on the principal. As Dave Stubbs from the Montreal Gazette tweeted:

source:

Stars put Spezza on injured reserve, recall Faksa from AHL Texas

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Sitting three points out of top spot in the Central Division and on the eve of an important divisional clash on home ice with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Dallas Stars have placed center Jason Spezza on injured reserve retroactive to Thursday, the club announced on Friday.

Spezza, 32, was injured during Thursday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. The Stars can move back to within a point of Chicago for the division lead with a regulation win on Saturday.

In 52 games this season, Spezza has 18 goals and 40 points, which ties him with Patrick Sharp for fourth on the team in total points.

With Spezza out, the Stars recalled 22-year-old forward Radek Faksa from the Texas Stars in the AHL.

Faksa has 15 goals and 26 points in 28 games this season with Texas. In 18 games with the NHL Stars, he has one goal and three points.

Hitch’s recipe for more goals is a pretty simple one

Ken Hitchcock, David Backes, Dmitrij Jaskin, Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund
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Ken Hitchcock wants the Blues to spend more time attacking and less time defending.

Because hockey isn’t rocket science, that’s why.

“To score and win games in the National Hockey League…you have to spend as much time in the offensive zone as you can,” Hitchcock told the Post-Dispatch.

“When you’re occupying the offensive zone more, you’re forechecking more. When you’re occupying the offensive zone more, the goalie has to make saves. They’re having to defend more. And the opposing team takes penalties on you. So they’re all connected. … What I want to see from us is staying on the puck for longer stretches.”

According to the stats, the Blues have not been spending as much time in the offensive zone as we’re used to seeing from them. In fact, in their last 20 games, they rank in the bottom third of the league in score-adjusted Corsi. That compares to their first 20 games when they were in the top third.

The result is fewer shots, and more importantly, fewer goals. The Blues have fallen all the way to 25th in offense, averaging just 2.37 goals per game. Last year, they finished fifth (2.91).

Yes, some of that may be due to the absence of Jaden Schwartz, and he should be back soon. But there’s a reason people are watching GM Doug Armstrong as the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaches. This team could probably use another piece up front.

The Blues host Minnesota Saturday.

St. Louis has scored just five goals in its last five games.

Goalie nods: Lindback ‘really excited’ for first start in almost three weeks

Anders Lindback
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Tonight in Anaheim, Anders Lindback will make his first start for the Arizona Coyotes since Jan. 16.

The Coyotes have been riding rookie Louis Domingue since just before Christmas, but Domingue has allowed five goals in each of his last three starts, including last night’s 5-4 loss to Chicago.

Lindback’s last appearance came Tuesday in relief, when he allowed one goal on 10 shots in a 6-2 loss to the Kings.

Lindback was in goal for one of Arizona’s three victories this season over Anaheim, stopping 33 of 36 shots in a 4-3 overtime win on Nov. 9. However, his .896 save percentage ranks among the lowest in the league.

Frederik Andersen is expected to start for the Ducks.

Elsewhere…

— No word yet on a Penguins starter in Tampa, but Ben Bishop will go for the Bolts.

Cam Ward will start for the Hurricanes in Winnipeg, where Connor Hellebuyck is expected for the increasingly desperate Jets.

— Joonas Korpisalo was solid last night in Vancouver, but the Blue Jackets have not announced their starter for tonight’s game in Calgary. Karri Ramo will be in goal for the Flames.

A ‘pretty solid two-way player,’ Sundqvist to make NHL debut for Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins' Oskar Sundqvist (49) collides with Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker (16) in the first period of a NHL preseason hockey game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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The latest Penguins injuries, these ones to Evgeni Malkin and Eric Fehr, have led to an opportunity for Oskar Sundqvist.

Sundqvist will make his NHL debut for the Penguins tonight in Tampa. The 21-year-old center has five goals and 11 assists in 39 AHL games this season.

“Sunny’s a pretty solid two-way player,” coach Mike Sullivan said, per the Tribune-Review.

“I don’t think he’s going to dazzle you with flashy plays, but I think he’s a guy who plays the game the right way. He’s hard to play against because of his size. He’s got a long reach, and he’s got a good stick.”

Sundqvist was selected 81st overall by the Pens in 2012. He’ll become the fourth player out of that Pittsburgh draft class to make his NHL debut, after Olli Maatta, Derrick Pouliot, and Matt Murray.

Veteran Matt Cullen will replace Malkin on the second line, skating with wingers Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel.

Related: Nick Bonino out ‘at least a month’ with hand injury