Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lucic Suspended for 1 Game

The NHL has suspended Milan Lucic for Game 3 tomorrow night. Lucic received a match penalty late in the Bruins' 5-1 triumph Saturday night for this crap:

I love Lucic, but I'm still disappointed with his behavior there. It wasn't as bad as it looks, and as some talking heads have speculated; BUT he deserved 1 game off the ice, just for being an idiot. You're up 5-1 on the Habs, about to go 2-0 up in the series. They look flat, dying, surrendering. So then you punch someone with a stick?

Now Montreal doesn't have to worry about Lucic in Game 3. Komisarek can be Komisarek, and I can definitely see a guy like Zdeno Chara trying too hard to make up for Lucic's absence, and getting a stupid penalty, or worse. At the very least, Lucic has given a bit of a psychological lifeline to the Canadiens, when they were otherwise drowning.

Hopefully the Bruins maintain their momentum. And hopefully Lucic learns a much needed lesson.


How refreshing was it to see Lester throw 7 shutout innings and the Red Sox come out on top of a pitcher's duel? How refreshing is it to be out of last place and back to .500? How refreshing is it to win a series? Thank you, Orioles. Thank you.

Kevin Youkilis might be the hottest hitter in baseball. He was 1 for 2 this afternoon with a double and a run. Last night, he was 4 for 5 with 2 doubles, a homer, and 4 RBI.

But the real attraction Sunday afternoon was Jon Lester. 7 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts. The 2nd best outing of the season by a Red Sox starter.

He's the clear-cut Man of the Game (Youkilis gets it for last night's 6-4 victory).

Masterson makes his first start in the 11 AM Patriots' Day game tomorrow morning. He faces 1-1 Mark Hendrickson.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Winslow Townson


The following Bruins had good games:

PJ Axelsson
Zdeno Chara
Mark Recchi
Marc Savard
Aaron Ward
Shawn Thornton
Chuck Kobasew
Milan Lucic
Steve Montador
Shane Hnidy
Michael Ryder
Stephane Yelle
Patrice Bergeron
Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart
Blake Wheeler
David Krejci
Phil Kessel
Tim Thomas

The following Canadiens had good games:

Alexei Kovalev

That's it.

After Game 1, I said Marc Savard needed to improve on his performance. "He's better than that," I said. I don't know if he listened to me, or simply realized how sick of a hockey player he truly is. In Game 2 he was simply off the fucking chain.

2 goals, 2 assists, beautiful passes, and probably could've had a hat-trick if he wasn't such a committed playmaker.

The Bruins kept their cool in Game 2, and essentially showed the hockey world what Game 1 would have looked like had they stayed calm in that contest. They drew 5 power plays. Meanwhile, Montreal had 1 power play, and it was the 5 minute major at the end of the 3rd.

Any Vezina doubters watching Tim Thomas these days? 30 saves on 31 shots. Oh yeah, and an assist on that back-breaking Ryder goal at 19:57 of the 2nd. Thomas kickstarted that play like he was Martin Brodeur or something.

The biggest goal of the game was Shane Hnidy's, which made it 3-1. Savard sacrificed himself to move the play up-ice, then Axelsson made his best offensive play in 2 years, dropping the puck off for Hnidy, who replaced the hospitalized Matt Hunwick on the roster. It was a Mighty Ducks style goal, and it effectively ended the game.

One dark spot was Milan Lucic's behavior in the 3rd. The Bruins did a good job of properly retaliating when the Habs provoked them. The smackdown Patrice "Undefeated" Bergeron laid out on Gorges was a perfect example of an appropriate response.

But Lucic cross-checking Maxim Lapierre in the face was not only dumb, it was wrong. I love Lucic, but he crossed the line there. One of the things that makes hockey great is that it allows men to settle their differences with their fists. NOT THEIR STICKS!

And at the very least, Lucic's actions were stupid. He could get suspended for that crap. It's also his second misconduct penalty of the series (he was issued one after the post-game Canadien temper tantrum). He also let all the Habs know they can get under his skin.

BUT, the series is 2-0 going up North. Carey Price has been a sieve. When the Bruins keep their cool, the Canadiens simply lack the talent to do anything to stop them.

One thing that really cheesed me off was Saku Koivu getting away with a post-buzzer punch at the end of the 1st period. He shouldv'e gotten 2 minutes for hitting after the whistle and/or roughing. Instead, Montreal's cheap, cowardly, yellow antics go unpunished, and Kovalev scores a goal in the 5-on-5 at the start of the 2nd period.

The referees never lost control of this series, they apparently don't even want it.

Game 3: Monday night in Montreal, 7 PM, on NESN and Versus.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
AP Photo/Winslow Townson