BOSTON -- Milan Lucic addressed the media prior to Monday's game against the Montreal Canadiens to discuss his one game suspension for a hit on Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo that occurred on Saturday.
Obviously I dont think anyones ever happy when they get suspended, and obviously (NHL VP of Player Safety) Brendan Shanahan went with the decision that he felt was the right decision, he said. Obviously youve got to respect any decision that they make, whether you agree with it or not. But obviously it sucks to sit out a game for an incident like this, especially when were playing our rivals tonight, Montreal. But myself, probably a good time to sit back and have fun watching a game against our rivals and see how these guys do.
Lucic received a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit during the game against the Flyers. He thought he made shoulder-to-shoulder contact.
He asked me what I was thinking at the time and about the hit, and I told him exactly what I said after the game, Lucic said. I did everything I could to try to get his shoulder and try to make it not from behind. And I said even after the game, you can see his legs and his body turning as he was going into the boards. I felt like if I did hit him from behind, he would have went in head first. And they didnt see it the same way I did and I have to sit out for that.
When asked if his history played into the ruling, Lucic said it was not discussed in the hearing.
As far as my history is concerned, obviously I think you look at the five years that Ive been here, Ive led the team in hits for all those years and this is the first time that Ive ever had a hearing or a suspension when it comes down to a hit, he said. Take aside the hit on the goalie -- Im talking about hit on the players. I do everything in my power to keep it clean out there.
And I remember even earlier this year, one of the Boston reporters came up to me and asked me, is the reason why youre not playing as physical as years before because of the new rules and the clarity of it. I answered the question yes and obviously he put out some pretty clear videos of what is a suspension and what isnt, and I try my full-on best to follow those rules.