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Will Lucic be suspended?

Milan Lucic reacts after landing his hit on Jaroslav Spacek

First of all, let's be realistic, it is the playoffs and the league has decided to close their eyes on many vicious hits that have been given during these playoffs.  Prime example is Philadelphia's Mike Richard's hit on Buffalo Sabre's Tim Connolly when he drilled the latter into the corner boards, head first, as Connolly chased the puck.  Buffalo lost the services of Connolly for game 7 and they were forced to bring Derek Roy back in the lineup, eventually losing game 7 to the Philadelphia Flyers last night. 

The NHL also ignored the hit by Vancouver's Raffi Torres, who returned to the lineup after a blindside hit on Edmonton Oiler's Jordan Eberle that landed him a 4 game suspension.  He celebrated his return by delivering a shoulder to head hit on Chicago's Brent Seabrook behind the net.  No suspension was handed out for that hit that visibly left Seabrook shaken up.  The latter returned to the game after spending time in the "quiet room".  Even Torres history with suspension did not affect the no-suspension decision taken by the NHL.

The hits that did get a suspension included King's center Jarret Stoll on San Jose Shark's defenseman Ian White.  It was an elbow from behind, straight to the head.  The hit escaped a penalty during the match, but the League ended up sending Stoll to the press-gallery for one game.  And then there was Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz  who also got a suspension for direct contact with his elbow to the head of Simon Gagne.  Those were a no-brainer for the league.  Direct contact to the head and the league had no choice but to hand out the suspensions.  In the case of Lucic, you can be sure that there will be no suspension if the league is consistent.

Bruins' head Coach Julien commented on the hit but didn't want to speak in detail as he claimed he had not had a chance to look at it carefully.  He also said that the five minute major given to Lucic was because of the cut and not because of the hit.  Most of the Bruins players followed suite and declined to comment on the hit until they had a chance to see it carefully. 

Jaroslav Spacek however, the receiver of the hit, did get a chance to make his comments. “This just happened and it is part of hockey. If he’s suspended it’s good for us, but that’s not up to me. That happened and somebody else will look into it,” said Spacek.  When asked why he remained on the ice for so long, Spacek said he needed to protect himself as you never know what can happen if you get up after such a hit.  He also stressed the need to wait for the trainer to come over and talk to him.  Knowing the Bruins fans and media, his decision to remain on the ice for a longer period of time and wait for the trainer may be constituted as "diving".  Or if Jack Edwards from Versus had his say, he would probably scream: "Spacek goes down as if shot! GET UP".  [adapted from the original quote by Jack Edwards: "Hamrlik goes down as if shot! GET UP!"]


amit's picture

No Suspension

If you are wondering whether he was suspended or not for the hit, the answer is no.  Lucic will be part of the lineup tonight for the Boston Bruins.