BOSTON – Milan Lucic has done the crime, and now he’ll do the time.
Lucic was fined $5,000 by the NHL for a spear to Danny DeKeyser’s groin at the end of the second period of Boston’s 1-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 at TD Garden. DeKeyser remained in the game while clearly smarting after the play at the end of the period. No penalty was called at the time as it happened well behind the play.
Lucic addressed the media following practice on Saturday morning and admitted that he got lost “in the heat of the moment.”
“I don’t want to say it was too much frustration. It was kind of a heat of the moment thing where you’re not thinking when you do something like that. I’ve been in the league seven years now, and I think I’ve only done that three times. I don’t know why I did it,” said Lucic. “It’s one of those heat of the moment things that I unfortunately did. I believe in playing within the rules, and I definitely won’t be heading down that road again.”
Lucic confirmed at that time that there wouldn’t be a suspension hearing with the Department of Player Safety, but it made sense to slap the B’s winger with a fine given that it was the second spearing to the groin area for him in a month. Lucic also speared Alexei Emelin to the groin in a March 24 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.
Lucic got off slightly easy as a first-time offender for spearing, at least in the eyes of the league. A hearing for the incident could have raised his fine amount up to a maximum of $10,000.
“It’s funny. I never do that. I haven’t done that, but I’ve done it twice in the last little bit here. So I’m not going to make a habit of it. I don’t know why I did it both times,” said Lucic. “I believe in playing in between the rules the right way, and that’s what I’ll continue doing that moving forward.”
Claude Julien said “on [Bruins’ team] video, it doesn’t show it” when the coaching staff reviewed game tape on Saturday, so he couldn’t extensively comment on the incident.
“It was seen on another [TV] station, but I haven’t seen it yet,” said Julien. “Obviously if it’s serious enough to get a call then he has to adjust, and rectify that.”
Clearly, Lucic has rectified it to the tune of a $5,000 hit to his wallet and a clear reminder that the NHL is watching their players closely as the action grows nastier in the Stanley Cup playoffs.