Milan Lucic was forced to sit out Monday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens because of a boarding penalty and game misconduct he received in the Bruins previous game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Lucic hit Flyers center Zac Rinaldo from behind in the game and was immediately ejected from the game.
On Monday morning, Lucic had a conference call with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan to discuss the incident and Shanahan decided to suspend Lucic for a game. I have no problem with that. Lucic’s hit was bad and he has a history of walking a tight line between playing hard and dirty. What I have an issue with is Shanahan’s explanation for the suspension:
While this hit is not particularly egregious, it is illegal. However, the overriding factor in elevating this hit from behind from a penalty on the ice to a suspension is his history of similar infractions, warnings and a fine. We’ve taken into account that Rinaldo suffered no apparent injury as a result of this hit.
Emphasis is mine.
Why does Rinaldo’s injury, or lack there of, matter? It doesn’t change Lucic’s hit. It doesn’t change Lucic’s intentions. Whether or not Rinaldo is hurt should not have any affect on Shanahan’s decision. Yet, he says the exact opposite. Read more…