Lucic: Cheapshot artists should expect repercussions

Lucic: Cheapshot artists should expect repercussions
March 4, 2013, 4:45 pm
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Milan Lucic snaps a nine-game scoring drought in a 4-2 loss to the Hurricanes.

(USA Today Sports)

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Milan Lucic isn’t an embellisher, a flopper, or a diver, but he is a powerful and strong hockey player that comes to the aid of his teammates.

So, he was fully in favor of Zdeno Chara’s actions while standing up for teammate Tyler Seguin when he was cross-checked in the ribs by Alexei Emelin because he’s done the same kind of thing many times.

“It’s a positive when you have your captain willing to step up and do something like that,” Lucic said. “When a guy cross-checks one of your best players and breaks a stick over him it’s good to see that somebody is willing to respond and defend their teammates. That’s what makes this such a special group.

“It’s part of our identity where we stick up for each other. It’s one of those Boston/Montreal things. It seems to happen to the two of us at least once a year.”

One thing Lucic couldn’t wrap his brain around: that Chara should have known that Emelin doesn’t fight because he’s got a plate holding his face together after it was rearranged in a KHL fight several years ago.

It’s up to the Montreal Canadiens to wear the proper protection for his face, or perhaps monitor his behavior so he doesn’t have to drop his gloves to defend himself.

“If that’s the case then [Emelin] should wear a [protective] cage for the whole year," Lucic said. "If you’re protecting your face and don’t want guys to fight you, then maybe you shouldn’t cheap shot guys or break your stick over them with a cross-check. If you do that then you should expect what happens afterward. It’s not just [Emelin] it’s everyone."

“If I did that and threw a cheap shot at a guy and 'Z' was playing on another team, I would expect the same reaction from [him] if I did the same thing.”

That reaction includes a few powerful right-handed upper cuts and jabs courtesy of an enraged 6-foot-9 Chara.

It’s impossible to deny the numbers: The Montreal Canadiens lead the NHL with 100 power-play chances this season through 22 games and the Boston Bruins are 30th among 30 NHL clubs with only 61 power-play opportunities in 19 games. It’s also true that teams like Montreal play a certain style to help draw penalties, and Lucic would love to see some of the embellishment techniques tramped out of the game.

It’s up to the league and the referees to create a more stringent set of rules outlawing embellishment – or to more strictly enforce the diving penalties already on the books. The NBA has done a good job of removing the flopping from its game, and the NHL should follow suit.

“You definitely would like to see a lot less embellishment," Lucic said. "I know the way that we are as a team, and how we play. The type of people that we are we don’t really accept that type of play in this room. We don’t like our guys diving. We don’t like our guys embellishing. You don’t like to see it around the league. So hopefully the right calls will be made, and guys will take pride in not being that type of player.”

The Bruins power forward didn’t sound like he was expecting much to change for this season at least, and one of his favorite quotes explains the mindset that helps him deal with calls both good and bad: “It is what it is.”