Non-call infuriates Lucic in win over Panthers

Non-call infuriates Lucic in win over Panthers
February 24, 2013, 10:45 pm

SUNRISE, FL – Milan Lucic didn’t stick around to speak with reporters following Sunday’s 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers, and there’s probably good reason for that.

The Bruins power forward blew a gasket toward the end of the second period when Florida defenseman Mike Weaver cross-checked him from behind causing him to topple head-first into the side boards. Lucic lifted his head up, saw that none of their referees had their hand raised for a Florida penalty on what should have been an easy call and then took matters into his own hands.

Lucic cross-checked Weaver and drove him down into the ice with great vengeance and furious anger, and got whacked with a double-minor for cross-checking and roughing as a result. The Bruins were holding a 3-1 lead at the time and now they were being staked with killing four minutes worth of power play time between the second and third period.

Worse than that an incensed Lucic kept screaming at referee Chris Lee from the penalty box and was slapped with another 10-minute misconduct that compounded a misbegotten situation.

The Bruins killed off the four minute power play, and actually out-shot the Florida PP by a 3-0 margin that helped ensure Boston’s victory.

The furor was understandable that those hits from behind are the exact kind of plays that the NHL insists they’re trying to wipe out of the game. While there are situations when those kinds of penalties can be seen as selfish or undisciplined, B’s head coach Claude Julien said Lucic’s actions were accepted by his teammates and the coaching staff under the circumstances.

“When I looked at it between periods it appeared to be a cross-check and he wasn’t close to the boards,” said Claude Julien. “We felt that maybe there could have been an original call. We should have been on the power play rather than killing off a penalty for four minutes.

“That’s Milan showing his character. We like him for what he is. He was just reacting to what he thought was a dangerous play on him. I’ll accept that and so will the team. As you saw we made sure that we killed it off.”

It’s not just Lucic that’s reaching a boiling point over the officiating either. The Bruins are keenly aware that they’ve been awarded four power plays over the last four games while their opponents have been awarded 12 power plays in that same span.

So perhaps that Lucic volcano-like explosion will put an end to a dearth of penalties call in favor of the Bruins, but the Black and Gold members aren’t holding their breath after watching the actions in Florida on Sunday afternoon.