Lucic doesn't expect punishment for Rinaldo hit

Lucic doesn't expect punishment for Rinaldo hit
December 18, 2011, 1:13 am
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Milan Lucic might be having another conversation with NHL VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan sooner than he would have expected. The Bruins' power forward was tossed from Saturday's 6-0 pounding of the Flyers after hitting Philly forward Zac Rinaldo with a hit from behind. Rinaldo was battling for puck possession in the corner and began to shield the puck as he moved up the side wall away from Nathan Horton and Adam McQuaid.

That's when Lucic moved in to lower the boom and separate Rinaldo from the puck, but instead caught the Flyers forward from behind as he turned away from the contact. Lucic made it two straight games that the Bruins have received 5-minute majors when he was called for hitting from behind.

The major came along with a game misconduct, but Rinaldo appeared to escape injury when he picked a fight with Nathan Horton behind the Boston net immediately following the jarring hit.

Despite the call on the ice, Lucic said he reviewed the video and felt like he had a good case should he get a phone call from Shanahan.

"I looked at the video and I slow-moed it and it looked at the point of contact. There was no numbers (on the back of the jersey) and it was all shoulders," said Lucic. "You could see (Rinaldo's) body rotating because I took him from the right side.

"(NHL punishment) is out of my control. I completely slowed up. If I directly hit him from behind, hit him in the numbers and buried him into the boards I'd be the first one to say I should be getting a call and there should be repercussions. Fortunately he wasn't injured on the play, and it looked okay to me on video."

The NHL sheriff and B's power forward have already held one powwow this season when Lucic belted Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller -- but the left winger was able to sidestep any supplemental discipline in that instance.

Lucic's coach also felt he might evade punishment again in this instance.

"Lucic let up and I though (Rinaldo) turned at the last second," said Julien. "To me it didn't appear to be a hit from behind. They talk about intent and I think it was pretty clear that he let up in the end.

"Hopefully they see it the way we see it and go from there."

So there is hope Lucic will avoid punishment given the lack of injury and serious intent to injure, but it will give Shanahan another chance to deliberate over it.