Boston forward Milan Lucic will have a phone chit-chat tomorrow with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. The topic of conversation: Is there anything more the NHL can do for the Bruins?
We kid, we kid – it’s actually to discuss Lucic’s hit from behind on Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo during yesterday’s 6-0 Boston victory. (The other call is scheduled for Wednesday.)
At 16:21 of the second period, Lucic received a five-minute major and game misconduct after checking Ronaldo between the numbers and into the boards. At the time, the B’s were up big, 5-0, on the Flyers.
Clearly Rinaldo wasn’t injured on the play, as he was able to get up and beat the stuffing out of Nathan Horton.
“I felt like I made every effort to take him out laterally and looked at the video and slow-mo’d it and looked at the point of contact, and there were no numbers. It was all shoulders,” Lucic said. “You can see even him, his body rotating because I took him from the right side.”
B’s coach Claude Julien agreed, saying, “[Lucic] let up and a player turned at the last second. It didn’t appear to be a hit from behind.”
Lucic has been suspended before – he received a one-game ban for crosschecking Maxim Lapierre, then with Montreal, during the 2009 playoffs.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.