Lucic reacts to one-game suspension


Lucic reacts to one-game suspension

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.

Bergeron 'feeling good' in return, plays role of third period hero

Bergeron 'feeling good' in return, plays role of third period hero

BOSTON – It certainly feels appropriate that Patrice Bergeron would author a clutch game-winning goal late in the third period of his first game back after missing a week of games with a lower body injury. That Bergeron’s game-winner also arrived in the home opener at TD Garden was an added bonus once No. 37 hammered a shot from the high slot with 1:15 to go in the third period to give the Bruins their first lead of the game in a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden.

The goal arrived courtesy of a nifty setup from linemate Brad Marchand working behind the New Jersey net, and also thanks to David Pastrnak winning a battle in the corner thanks to newfound grit in his game. But the hero of the day again turned out to be No. 37, who went from missing an entire week of action to reclaiming his center role on the top line, playing 16:49 of ice time and winning 13-of-24 face-offs while generating five shot attempts.

“I think it’s pretty obvious with what he did [against the Devils]. After being off for over a week and to come back and have one practice with us then back into the game, he scores a clutch goal for us. That’s what he has always been, a clutch player for us,” said Claude Julien. “I think the third period we gave it a really good push there and I like seeing that from our team that you come out and you don’t play on your heels and you push hard and we went down by a goal but we got our game going like I said and we got a couple goals to win this for us.”

Bergeron modestly said postgame that he was just trying to get into the flow of the game after missing a healthy chunk of time with injury. But he certainly looked like he was vintage form once it crunch time. The timing was perfect as he stepped into the one-timer shot off Marchand’s pass, and beat Cory Schneider amid a strong 34-save performance by the kid from Marblehead.

“I mean I was just trying to, I guess, get my feet wet right away and use the first few shifts to kind of just get, feel good about my positioning and my skating,” said Bergeron. “As the game went on I just felt better. Of course you want to start on a good note, especially at home, and we talked about our home record in the last few years. We wanted to do the job early, especially in the first game, and it’s one step but we’re happy with it.”

It was like Bergeron didn’t miss a single beat after missing the first three games of the season with a lower body injury, and those kinds of instincts and natural ability are things worth marveling about when it comes to the Bruins.

“I was feeling good [on the ice],” said Bergeron. “It would have been nice to ride the wave of the World Cup, but that being said I thought in the first I was trying to be good position ally and kind of get myself going with the first few shifts, and just kind of go from there. Overall I thought that happened.”

While the comeback win was certainly good news for the Bruins, the best news of all is that Bergeron has returned to the lineup with no signs of an injury that surprised everybody right before the start of the regular season.