Milan Lucic had a right to be upset.
Late in the second period of the Bruins’ 2-0 loss to the Avalanche, Avs forward Gabriel Landeskog pulled Lucic out of a pile in front of goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere (39 saves). The Boston power forward took exception and vented his frustration on the former first round pick, who backed away from Lucic and rightfully so.
What resulted in that, however, was a pair of roughing minors and a 10-minute misconduct for Lucic. His exit proved costly as the B’s were unable to sustain a comeback Thursday night at the TD Garden.
It was a frustrating penalty for Lucic during a frustrating night for the Black and Gold. And Lucic believed that Landeskog’s status as a star for the Avalanche caused the 10-minute misconduct.
“Just a grab from behind in the face and an altercation,” Lucic said about his exchange with Landeskog. “I bet you if I would’ve pushed [Patrick] Bordeleau at the end of it, I don’t think I get 10 minutes. So it is what it is.
“I didn’t hear [an explanation] so I didn’t get one,” Lucic continued. “And if someone pushed me like that at an end of an altercation, I highly doubt that they would have gotten 10 minutes. So it is what it is.
Lucic returned to the Bruins bench with about 10 minutes left in the third period. However, the seventh-year forward did not take a shift for nearly another seven minutes. By that point, Giguere was in a groove and Colorado took advantage.
On the other hand, many fans and media members alike thought Lucic’s misconduct was “soft.” And head coach Claude Julien echoed that in his assessment during the postagme press conference.
“You’re not going to win that war anyways, whether you complain about it or not,” said the seventh year bench boss. “The guy is still chirping at [Lucic] and gives him a shot and the referee decided that he would get a 10. It’s certainly something you don’t want as a coach, and with an important player like that, you have to have him on the ice. I thought it was a bit soft tonight and it is what it is.”
From Lucic’s misconduct, to Loui Eriksson getting called for an embellishment at the middle of the third period, the long layoff, missed scoring chances, and Giguere’s performance, the Bruins certainly had a right to be aggravated after being shutout for the first time in 71 games.
Give the Avs credit. They took advantage and are off to a 4-0 start for the first time in franchise history. But one has to wonder if the Bruins would’ve stayed unbeaten had Lucic not served the misconduct.