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Lucic to have phone hearing for sequence with Mathieu Joseph

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Milan Lucic will have a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for the sequence that went down with Mathieu Joseph at the end of last night’s game in Tampa.

In case you missed it or you don’t remember what I’m talking about, Milan Lucic went into shark mode at the end of last night’s game, stalking Mathieu Joseph into the corner and levelling him with a huge hit (read: interference) and then following it up by crumpling him up into a little ball that could fit in his pocket. Personally, I can’t think of many things more terrifying than an angry Milan Lucic trying to punch to punch a hole in your skull, and I imagine that Joseph’s life flashed before his eyes for a minute there, but is that worth a suspension?

Here’s another look:

At first look, this obviously doesn’t look great for Lucic considering the incident had nothing to do with the play, but there’s also some context missing here as well. Earlier in the game, Joseph took a healthy run at Kris Russell, connecting firmly from behind and clearly injuring the Oilers defenceman. The play went uncalled despite the refs staring right at it and that lit the spark. Had it not been for Kris Russell’s alleged dead nerve endings and inability to feel any pain whatsoever then the hit could have been a whole lot worse. So with the game out of reach and the refs unwilling to do their job, Lucic took it upon himself to go out and get a little prison justice. In his mind, Joseph crossed a line and now it was time to cough up his lunch money.

By my eye, and I’ll definitely admit that I’m biased here, the fact that Lucic has to have a phone hearing with the NHL about this play is a little much. Yes, the hit was late and the dusting of fist kisses that followed probably made Joseph squeeze out a fear turd, but I don’t really see anything here that merits a suspension outside of the fact that this was a planned act by Lucic. If the NHL is going to get mad at Looch for having absolutely no interest in the play and using his ice time to go out and put the fear of Gord into Mathieu Joseph then I definitely understand that, but let’s not pretend that this was the worst thing we’ve ever seen either. No one got hurt on the play and Joseph was spotted laughing on the bench after the whole thing went down and that should be taken into account as well. My point is, this isn’t some kind of Tom Wilson scenario or reoccurring incident. This was more like a free lesson for a rookie that he can’t be running around without consequences. Had the refs done their job then Milan wouldn’t have had to.

The interesting thing, to me, were the reactions that came out after the game. I saw some people going so far as to compare Lucic to Todd Bertuzzi which could be the greatest bit of overreacting that I’ve seen in a while, and it will be fun to follow up with those folks when Milan only gets a single game or something. Personally, and feel free to correct me in the comments section, but I don’t know how you can compare ending a guy’s career to giving a rookie a few shots after a clearly dirty hit. The bigger point here is that if the refs had actually done their job and stopped players like Joseph from running around then Lucic wouldn’t have had to put his sheriff’s hat on in the first place. I like the idea of the boys sticking up for each other when it’s needed and I was happy to see the big man handle his business. Could he have been a bit more subtle about his approach? Sure, but time was running out and there were lessons to be handed out.

Regardless of which side of the play you’re on, the interesting part will be to see what the NHL says about Lucic’s trash compacting antics but since it’s only a phone review I can’t imagine it’ll be more than a game or two. Even that, at least to me, is too much given the situation. Am I wrong? It’s happened plenty of times before and I’m curious to know what you guys think. Hit me up in the comments.

***UPDATE**** Lucic fined $10,000 for the incident with Mathieu Joseph

LUCIC’S SEASON SO FAR

Season GP G A P +/- PIM PPG PPP SHG SHP GWG OTG S S%
2018-19 15 1 3 4 -6 30 1 3 0 0 0 0 15 6.7
NHL Career 826 193 292 485 99 1,011 38 102 0 0 35 1 1,413 13.7

Source: Darren Dreger, Verified Twitter Account, 11/07/2018 – 8:12 am MT

  • andyb

    how about the refs getting a call instead. there the ones that didnt call that dirty hit and there was many calls they didnt call in that game that resulted in players taking action them selves
    if refs did there job that would of never happend .
    seems that refs in the nhl can do what ever they want with out consequence when something happens right in frount of them which is an obvious penalty and they dont call the nhl should fine or suspen them and make it public that would stop alot of the miss calls that will result in players taking actions them selves

  • Derian Hatcher

    For those that do not know how is works (and there seems to be alot of people in this category)…in hockey when someone takes what is perceived as a cheap shot etc. usually the one making the cheap shot is held accountable by the “code” which is..be prepared to answer for your actions. If a player is going to run around taking shots at the opposition, he will be challenged. To turtle, or to not be accountable is thought of as a coward. To illustrate…Earlier in the game, Kassian left his feet to deliver a hit. As soon as he landed on his feet, he looked around, ready to drop the mitts for anyone on Tampa who was going to hold him accountable.

    For those of you not educated, or that have not played the game. Joseph knew he would have to answer for his actions and the slash on the back of his legs by Looch was his invitation to drop his mitts and square up like real men do. He did not follow the code by accepting the invitation to fight and thus, Looch delivered the message another way.

    Now..this is the most important part…you do not have to agree with the reality of how things are, but this is the way things work in big-boy hockey. The cowards, who are not accountable will get theirs eventually. If Joseph would have answered for his actions would have dropped the mitts like a man, instead of running away like the coward that he is, this wouldn’t have been an issue.

    Finally, for those of you who stand on your moral soapboxes and spout off about “right and wrong” – check yourselves…have you played the game? Have you EVER had a teammate come to your defense in a situation where intimidation was a factor.

    If you have NOT played the game, have you EVER had a big brother / cousin / etc. come to your defense where a one-sided situation might get physical? How many of you are / were frustrated that your kid is getting “bullied” school and “someone should do something about it” ?

    Before those of you make judgement on what Looch did..get educated and informed.

    • Kool-Aid Man

      Great post! I agree 100%, and to add to that, if the refs did their jobs properly these situations wouldn’t occur. Perhaps they should be fined too for letting situations get out-of-hand like they do. 10K for looch, 10K for the refs as well. Perhaps that would inspire them to make the right call.

      Oooh-Yaaah!