Big Bad Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

Milan Lucic fined $5,000 for spear on Danny DeKeyser, says he’s still an honest player

04.19.14 at 1:59 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Bruins forward Milan Lucic was fined $5,000 Saturday for spearing Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser in the groin in Detroit’s 1-0 Game 1 victory over the B’s.

Lucic skated up behind DeKeyser in the second period of the then-scoreless game, stuck his stick between DeKeyser’s legs and forcefully yanked it up, causing DeKeyser to fall to the ice in the pain (video). It was Lucic’s second spearing incident in the last month, as he did it on March 24 against Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin.

Prior to the news of the fine, Lucic said he didn’t know why he committed the cheap shot.

“Obviously, it was kind of a heat of the moment thing when you’re not thinking and you do something like that,” Lucic said Saturday. “I’ve been in the league for seven years now. I think I’ve only done that three times. I don’t know I did it, but like I said, it’s one of the heat-of-the-moment that unfortunately I did. I believe in playing within the rules. For me, I definitely won’t be headed down that rode again.”

Asked if the fact that he’s now done it twice in such a short period of time should earn him a reputation, Lucic said he still feels he’s an honest player.

“I never do that. I haven’t done that but unfortunately I’ve done it twice in the little bit here,” Lucic said. “I’m not going to make it a habit. I don’t know why I did it both times, but it’s not going to be a habit of mine. Like I said, I believe in playing between the rules the right way and that’s what I’ll continue to do moving forward.”

While Lucic’s action — and the fact that it’s become a habit — was really bad, it is true that such spears have happened over the years and may not have even gotten a second look years ago. Lucic said it’s happened to him before.

“It happens more times than not,” Lucic said. “But with how much video there is today, it’s a lot harder to get away with.”

While Penguins center Sidney Crosby told reporters there was “definite intent” on Lucic’s part, DeKeyser didn’t get too worked up over the incident.

“I mean, yeah, I’m fine,” DeKeyser said Saturday. “It just happens during the game. You deal with it.”

Added DeKeyser: “It’s playoff hockey and it’s going to be a little physical out there. Stuff like that will happen from time to time. Emotions kind of run high during the games and that’s what it is.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Danny DeKeyser, Milan Lucic,

Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller return to Bruins practice

04.19.14 at 1:49 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller both practiced Saturday after missing Friday’s Game 1 loss against the Red Wings with what was believed to be the stomach flu.

Following the skate, Claude Julien offered little update on their potential status for Sunday’s Game 2. Prior to the practice, Daniel Paille skated with Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg. All other players were accounted for at practice, with the lines looking like they did in Game 1:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Caron – Campbell – Thornton

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski,

Video: Milan Lucic gets away with dirty spear on Danny DeKeyser

04.19.14 at 1:34 am ET
By   |   Comments

Milan Lucic has long been known to lose his cool, but he was never really considered an overly “dirty” player.

This season, however, Lucic has gone nuts when it has come to spearing opponents in sensitive areas. In the second period of Friday’s Game 1 loss to the Red Wings, Lucic stuck his stick between Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser‘s legs and forcefully yanked it up, whacking DeKeyser in an area that you’d think would be off-limits. Lucic didn’t talk after the game, but the video below should show that it seemed as intentional as intentional gets.

This isn’t the first between-the-legs spear from Lucic this season, as he did the same thing to Alexei Emelin back on March 24, though it seemed Lucic got him in the rear end. Lucic denied spearing him after the game, saying he was “just skating by.”

Lucic was suspended for a game in the 2009 postseason for a blow to the head of Maxim Lapierre in Game 2 of the first round against the Canadiens. It’s unclear what the fallout from Friday’s cheap shot will be, but it was a garbage act from Lucic. He’s one of the team’s best players and was the team’s highest-paid forward this season. Such actions as Friday’s should be beneath him.

Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Jarome Iginla fail to get going in Bruins’ Game 1 loss to Red Wings

04.19.14 at 12:02 am ET
By   |   Comments

Going into this series, it seemed like a pretty safe assumption that Patrice Bergeron and Pavel Datsyuk would match up frequently. Maybe you’€™d give the Bruins a slight edge there given that Datsyuk is coming back from an injury, but for the most part, you’€™d expect that to be a back-and-forth dogfight. Sure enough, that’€™s more or less how Game 1 played out — their lines went against each other pretty much every time out, and the matchup was essentially a wash until Datsyuk’€™s goal with 3:01 left in the game.

In theory, that matchup should have freed up the Bruins’€™ top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla to pick on Detroit’€™s lesser lines and banged-up defensive corps. That didn’€™t happen, though.

In fact, that line played one of its worst games of the season in Game 1. It went up against the trio of Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar for the majority of its shifts (thanks to shiftchart.com for the excellent data), and found itself chasing the puck most of the night. Lucic, Krejci and Iginla were able to get what should have been a favorable matchup against Detroit’€™s second pairing of Kyle Quincey and Danny DeKeyser — an OK, but far-from-great duo — for about half their shifts, but they never really got a chance to take advantage because of how much time they spent in their own zone.

A lot was made of Detroit’€™s speed going into the series, and this was really the one place that it showed. Nyquist and Tatar motored their way through the neutral zone and into the Bruins’€™ end time and again, with the back pressure from Krejci and company a little too late too often. From there, the cycle was on, as Boston’€™s top trio had to resort to chasing the puck rather than possessing it. When they did get it, they struggled to get through the neutral zone and sustain any sort of offensive pressure.

The result was Lucic, Krejci and Iginla all finishing with Corsi percentages under 40 (according to the fantastic extraskater.com), marking just the sixth time this season their possession numbers as a line have dipped that low. In near perfect symmetry, Nyquist, Sheahan and Tatar all finished with Corsi percentages over 60. If the more basic shot on goal stat is your thing, Sheahan’€™s line had eight, while Krejci’€™s line had four. It is worth mentioning, however, that Krejci’€™s line had arguably the Bruins’€™ best chance all night when Lucic tipped an Iginla shot that wound up trickling just wide about 30 seconds before Datsyuk scored. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Krejci, Jarome Iginla, Milan Lucic,

Jimmy Howard admits Red Wings were ‘pretty lucky’ to beat Bruins

04.18.14 at 11:20 pm ET
By   |   Comments

It was the key moment of Game 1.

Jarome Iginla fired a centering pass from the right side boards to Milan Lucic with just over three minutes left in regulation. Lucic got a clean piece of the puck for a redirect on Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. It appeared to be the perfect pass and perfect chance in a game that had precious few of each.

But instead of the puck finding it’s way past Howard, the Detroit goalie got just enough to flick the puck wide of the goal mouth and out of harm’s way.

“It was a fortunate save,” Howard said. “It was pretty lucky. [Lucic] stuck his stick out and got a lot on it and it sort of just spun off my glove and I was able to get just enough on it. I was pretty lucky.”

The momentum swing didn’t end there. The pendulum, as it often does in a game like Friday night, swung completely the other way leading to a Red Wings rush up the ice. Wings veteran forward Pavel Datsyuk came across the Bruins blue line and, using the collision of Justin Abdelkader and Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton as a screen, fired a shot that beat Tuukka Rask on the far side for the game’s only goal and a 1-0 Detroit win.

“He was by himself there so I’m just thinking a shot there and then he drags it across and releases from our D’s legs so you just try to get the puck in your eyes and I couldn’t,” Rask said of Datsyuk’s shot. “It squeaked by me. Usually he tries to make a pass but I thought he was by himself there. I just couldn’t see it.

“It still went through me so I thought I should have it. But I didn’t see it.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Jarome Iginla, Jimmy Howard

Red Wings take Game 1 from Bruins on late Pavel Datsyuk goal

04.18.14 at 9:58 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The Bruins were without their third and fourth line left wings and two bottom-four defensemen, but it was their best players who let up the game’s only goal as the Red Wings took Game 1 of the first round, 1-0.

With the game scoreless late, Pavel Datsyuk beat Tuukka Rask with 3:01 left to get the Red Wings on the board. The goal came with Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara on the ice, marking Detroit’s fourth such goal this season. Chara and Bergeron had only allowed one 5-on-5 goal together all last season before allowing three to the Red Wings this past regular season.

The Bruins played the game without four regulars in Daniel Paille (head), Chris Kelly (back), Matt Bartkowski (undisclosed) and Kevan Miller (undisclosed; both he and Bartkowski were suspected to have the flu earlier in the week). With those four out, Justin Florek, Jordan Caron, Andrej Meszaros and Corey all played.

Jimmy Howard picked up the shutout for the Red Wings, making 25 saves.

The teams will play Game 2 Sunday afternoon (3 p.m.) at TD Garden.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

Patrice Bergeron‘s line, playing mostly against Detroit’s top line of Franzen – Datsyuk – Abdelkader and second pairing of Quincey – DeKeyser, had just two shots on goal through the first two periods. Both sides seemed OK with having the Bergeron and Datsyuk lines matched up against one another.

– The matchup that the Bruins need to exploit in this series is Boston’s bottom-six forwards against Detroit’s third pairing of Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff. They got some chances (Jordan Caron nearly had a goal in front in the second period) and Carl Soderberg’s line came on strong against them, but the B’s were unable to cash in. Keep an eye on those matchups going forward in the series.

– Not sure what Tuukka Rask was thinking when he came way out of his net to play a puck high in the zone in the third period. Florek and Potter were already giving chase to the puck, but Rask got to it and turned it over, leaving Potter to race to the net and make a save on Darren Helm’s shot.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Potter was more than serviceable as he played in place of Miller Friday night. Though he was the Bruins’ eighth defenseman at the end of the season, Potter got regular minutes on the third pairing with Torey Krug as they played mostly against Luke Glendening’s line.

– Boston’s penalty kill was strong in holding Detroit 0-for-2. The Bruins faced a major challenge when Zdeno Chara threw Brendan Smith into the boards at 16:08 of the first period and was assessed a boarding minor. With Chara in the box and the B’s already missing two regular blueliners, Johnny Boychuk killed the entire penalty, with Meszaros and Potter taking turns as his partner. Up front, the Bruins used Patrice Bergeron with Brad Marchand, David Krejci with Loui Eriksson and Gregory Campbell with Justin Florek. The group stayed the course, limiting Detroit to just a Johan Franzen shot on goal.

In the second period, Torey Krug went off for a hold on Johan Franzen, with Eriksson having the only shot on goal during the Red Wings power play. Potter and Florek also played during that penalty kill.

Bruins Game 1 lineup: Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly, Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller all out

04.18.14 at 7:12 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Not only were Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly and Matt Bartkowski absent from warmups Friday night before Game 1, but Kevan Miller was missing as well.

Paille (head), Kelly (back) and Bartkowski (likely the flu) missed each practice this week, while Miller missed Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s before practicing Thursday and missing Friday’s morning skate.

Offensively, that means the B’s will play with both Justin Florek and Jordan Caron in the lineup, while Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter will also play. The team’s lineup in warmups was as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Caron – Campbell – Thornton

Chara – Boychuk
Krug – Hamilton
Meszaros – Potter

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski,
Bruins Box Score
Bruins Schedule
Bruins Headlines
NHL Headlines