Misconduct call doesn't sit well with Lucic

Misconduct call doesn't sit well with Lucic
October 11, 2013, 1:30 am
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BOSTON - Milan Lucic was still visibly steamed in the minutes after the loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

The Bruins power forward missed most of the third period after being slapped with a 10-minute misconduct at the end of the second period following an altercation with Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog. Lucic’s absence clearly didn’t help matters in a tight 2-0 loss and he harbored serious issues with the call once the game was over.

Lucic seemed to be making reference to a different set of rules for the NHL’s young stars when wondering why he was hit with a misconduct for a little pushing and shoving without throwing punches. Against an ordinary NHL plumber, Lucic wouldn’t expect any extra penalties in that type of exchange.

Still, against the second overall pick in the 2011 draft out of Sweden, the B’s brutish forward knew the book would be tossed at him despite the entire sequence seemingly being started by Landeskog.

“[It was] just the grab from behind and the face ...just an altercation,” said Lucic, when asked started things between the two players. “I bet you if I would have pushed [Patrick] Bordeleau at the end of it, I don’t get ten minutes. So that’s what it is ...it is what it is.”

Bordeleau, of course, is the 6-foot-6 player that took a run at Dennis Seidenberg in the second period, and ended up dropping the gloves with Shawn Thornton in a brief, uneventful fight following the body check.  

It seemed Landeskog had initiated the entire exchange by grabbing Lucic’s head from behind in a scrum in front of the net, but then twice the Bruins power forward threw the Avs youngster to the ice. Lucic had quickly tossed his gloves to the ice looking for a fight with the 205-pound winger, but Landeskog wanted no part of the fracas with one of the NHL’s most fearsome forwards.

The second Lucic shove of Landeskog took place after it appeared the referees had told Lucic to cut out the shenanigans, and that’s when he was hit with the 10-minute infraction. The 10-minute misconduct for Lucic arrived in addition to matching roughing calls. Bruins coach Claude Julien termed the penalty call “soft” after a game in which the refereeing crew didn’t exactly have their best night.

“You’re not going to win that war [with the refs] anyways, whether you complain about it or not,” said Julien. “[Landeskog] still chirping him, he gives him a shot and the referees decide that he’s going to be taken to 10.

“Certainly not what you want as a coach; an important player like that you’d rather have him on the ice. I thought [the penalty call] was a bit soft to be honest with you.”

Clearly, Avs coach Patrick Roy saw it a little differently.

“First of all, we don’t have anything to prove fighting with him. I don’t believe fighting is that important in our game,” said Roy. “At the same time, there’s no need for Gabe [Gabriel Landeskog] to go into the box for 10 minutes or 15 minutes. We need him on the ice. He’s one of our best players. I thought that was smart of him.”

While Landeskog clearly got what was in the best interest of the Avalanche by keeping Lucic off the ice for 2/3 of the third period, the unwillingness to fight back was something pretty unbecoming of an NHL team captain. Even those that don’t believe “fighting is that important in our game” would also believe that standing up to something, or someone, is what the game of hockey is all about.

Lucic was asked after the game if he’d lost any respect for Landeskog as a result of the incident between them. Though it should be noted that the Colorado winger has one career NHL fight against defenseman Jack Johnson, and he’d have been crazy to straight up drop the gloves with Lucic.

“If that’s the way you want to play, that’s your choice,” said Lucic. “I was fired up, and unfortunately I got ten minutes for it.”

The Lucic absence loomed large in a one goal game where the Bruins needed all of their offensive might, and simply didn’t have enough despite playing the physical game against the quicker, smaller Avalanche.