As the second period of Friday’s Game 1 between Boston and Detroit wound down, Milan Lucic gave Danny DeKeyser a nasty slash to the groin from behind. The Red Wings defenseman dropped to the ice and Lucic was not penalized.
But he was fined $5,000 for the infraction Saturday and discussed it with the media after practice. He did not call DeKeyser a chicken.
“It was kind of a heat of the moment thing when you’re not thinking and you do something like that," Lucic said. "I’ve been in the league for seven years and I think I’ve only done that three times. I don’t know why I did it. I believe in playing within the rules and for me I definitely won’t be heading down that road again.”
We’ll see about that.
The $5,000 fine seems light, considering Lucic has a bit of a history with this kind of cowardice, but it's the type of ruling we should expect in the playoffs. He's not going to get suspended for this. And though Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville may have been fined $25,000 for his crotch-grab protest Thursday, he’s not ruled by the CBA.
The biggest mistake that was made was by the on-ice officials who did not call a penalty on the play. More than any reasonable fine, a penalty would have hurt Lucic and his team most. Detroit should have started the third period with an almost fresh two-minute power play in a 0-0 game. Fewer penalties are called in the post-season, but it’s precisely these over the top ones that are – and should be – made.
For an awfully big guy, Lucic can sometimes play awfully small.