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

11 Comments

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:

The Colorado Avalanche’s win streak hits double digits

Associated Press
1 Comment

The streak is now in double digits.

The Colorado Avalanche won their 10th straight game on Monday night, taking down the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2.

Yes, that’s 10 wins by the team that ended last season with an NHL-worst 48 points.

Hockey is wonderful, isn’t it?

The Avalanche have been pretty darn good during that streak, outscoring opponents 41-16 during that span. Scoring four goals per game on average will win you more than it won’t.

And the Avs have had success on the back end. Jonathan Bernier has been completely lights out during the streak. He is on a streak of his own with nine straight wins, becoming the third netminder in franchise history to win nine in a row.

Colorado’s streak is also an NHL-best this season and it’s the second longest streak in Avs history (they won 12 straight during the 1998-99 season).

The Avs are sitting on 57 points, good for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Jason Zucker takes a puck to the head (video)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

How in the world did he get up?

Too many players have been getting drilled in the head lately by slap shots. It’s an ugly site to behold whenever it happens

Somehow, however, Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild was able to pop right back up and head directly to the dressing room. No passing GO on this one.

The puck hit him so squarely in the helmet that it ricocheted back toward the Thomas Chabot, who uncorked the shot in the first place.

Even more insane is that Zucker was able to return to the game.

Talk about hard-headed.

Who could take Taylor Hall’s place if he has to miss the All-Star Game?

Getty Images
1 Comment

With Taylor Hall set to miss the next couple of games due to a hand injury, and with that injury putting his All-Star Game prospects in jeopardy, we look at the players who are worthy of replacing the New Jersey Devils forward if he has to miss this weekend’s festivities.

Two names that immediately come to mind are Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel and Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier.

There was already an argument that Kessel deserved to be at the ASG over Sidney Crosby. He was leading the Penguins in points then and two weeks later, he continues to pace Pittsburgh with 21 goals (tied with Evgeni Malkin) and 54 points, three more points than Crosby.

Couturier has already smashed his previous career highs in both goals (26) and points (47). He’s been part of the reason that Claude Giroux is already headed to the ASG and deserves to be there himself.

At third would have to be Sebastian Aho. The talent in the Metropolitan is evident with his snub. He’s clearly the best player on the Carolina Hurricanes this season (no disrespect to Teuvo Teravainen).

Aho is well on his way to eclipsing his rookie-season totals and a big reason why the Hurricanes are three points back of a playoff spot.

Beyond those three guys, there’s a few that certainly deserve the honor:

  • Anders Lee has 27 goals this season, seven off the pace he set last season with half the season to go.
  • Jakub Voracek leads the NHL with 45 assists, four more than teammate Giroux.
  • Evgeni Malkin. Not having a bad year.

It’s important to remember that the at-least-one-player-per-team rule goes out the window when it comes to replacing another All-Star.

There are certainly some very deserving names that didn’t get the first call.

But life’s about second chances.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

WATCH LIVE: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Chicago Blackhawks

Getty Images
2 Comments

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Projected Lines

Tampa Bay Lightning

Nikita KucherovBrayden PointTyler Johnson

Vladislav NamestnikovSteven StamkosChris Kunitz

Alex Killorn — Matthew Peca — Yanni Gourde

Michael Bournival — Cedric PaquetteRyan Callahan

Jake DotchinAnton Stralman

Mikhail SergachevDan Girardi

Braydon CoburnAndrej Sustr

Starting goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy

NHL on NBCSN: ‘Out of sync’ Lightning look to end three-game losing skid against ‘Hawks

Chicago Blackhawks

Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsAnthony Duclair

Patrick SharpNick SchmaltzPatrick Kane

Alex DeBrincatArtem AnisimovRyan Hartman

Tomas Jurco — David Kampf — Vinnie Hinostroza

Duncan KeithJordan Oesterle

Erik Gustafsson — Brent Seabrook

Michal KempnyConnor Murphy

Starting goalie: Jeff Glass