In a game that had 48 of its 64 total penalty minutes in the first 20 minutes of action — including three fighting majors — certainly made for some interesting battles and story-lines.
One fight that had some people questioning in particular was the square-off between Boston’s Milan Lucic (6-foot-4, 200 lbs.) and New York’s bruiser Brandon Prust (6-foot-2, 192 lbs.).
Just under five minutes remaining in the first period of last night’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers on home ice, Prust made a bee-line toward Lucic in retaliation to a hit on laid on Alexander Frolov of the Blueshirt’s earlier on in the period.
“Actually he came up to me and asked me.” Lucic said after the game last night. “I think he was kind of responding after that hit on Frolov, so that’s how mine happened.”
The fight only lasted about 20 seconds before the linesmen jumped-in and pulled the two combatants apart.
“I got hit in the eye I know that much, but he got a pretty good punch right off the start,” said Lucic. “My eye was pretty red when I came in, but it wasn’t anything too bad or anything to cry about. I didn’t really notice anything until I saw the video that a finger came through.”
Replay shows that a finger or two from Prust’s left-hand inadvertently got in the eye of Lucic when the Ranger grabbed a hold of his jersey in-close. Prust, who had 25 fighting majors last season between Calgary and New York (tied for second-most in the NHL), is no stranger to dropping the mitts. And Lucic, who has 29 career NHL fights now under his belt, knows the poke to the eye was unintentional.
“It happens. Obviously, he didn’t mean to do that.” Lucic said of the unfortunate digit to the eye.
The fight looked as if it was stopped a tad prematurely. Perhaps it was due to Lucic’s stalemate after getting jabbed in the eye? Regardless, anyone who knows who Milan Lucic is, and the type of hard-nosed player that he is, knows he didn’t ‘quit’ or ‘give-up’ on this challenge.
“Yeah, a little miscommunication between me and the refs there,” he said. “but noting you can do.”