Bruins forward Milan Lucic was fined $5,000 for spearing Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser square in DeKeyer's package during Game 1 last night at the Garden.
The NHL Department of Player Safety announced the fine Saturday morning.
|Lucic thinking pregame, "Who am I gonna smack in the nuts tonight?" (via espn.com)|
Here's the video footage:
Lucic spoke to the media on Saturday after practice and discussed the incident, saying he got lost "in the heat of the moment." He also sort-of-kinda reversed his stance from back in March on the Emelin incident:
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...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.
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...I believe in playing in between the rules the right way, and that's what I'll continue doing that moving forward.
It's pretty clear why Lucic took some liberties on DeKeyser: Lucic was shoved off the puck entering the zone when DeKeyser stood him up along the boards. After losing possession and seeing the puck go the other way, Lucic took his frustration out on the man who had just taken him out of the play.
This is not the first time Lucic has been involved in a spearing incident, as he was also caught in the act back on March 24 when he got his stick between the legs of Habs defenseman Alexi Emelin. But let's be honest here, that was barely a touch on Emelin. Yes, Lucic engaged in the act of trying to spear Emelin, but the replay shows him hitting more his backside rather than his undercarriage. Emelin felt the contact and flopped, trying to get the call.
Lucic famously called Emelin "a chicken" after the game and denied spearing Emelin.
The difference between the two ball taps in question are the whack that Lucic gave to DeKeyser was an actual spearing/reverse wood chop. Lucic certainly got his $5K worth with the contact, and rightly so.
In the eyes of the NHL, this is a first-time offence for spearing for Lucic. If he had been called for a hearing, the NHL could have fined him up to a maximum of $10,000.
But the NHL went with $5K, and in doing so sent a message that should be received loud-and-clear from the Bruins big winger: don't lose your cool again.
[quotes via CSNNE.com]