Don't get into fights with Chara and then get near the Bruins bench in Montreal in the last game of the season. It doesn't end well. Obviously in 2011 there was an unfortunate neck-breaking incident in the normal course of a hockey game. In this new case, It's a ligament tear in the knee. Lucic is skating with the puck and Emelin comes in to hit him. Emelin goes for the Subban-style bee sting hit but doesn't get his ass around in time. Lucic allegedly lifts his skate a little off the ice but not any more than Emelin did. Without a super-slow mo camera on it there's no way to really tell if it was stride or intentional or what.
It doesn't really matter, though.
Which is what's great about Milan Lucic: He'll fuck your whole day up just because you looked at him funny. Not necessarily that he'll drop the gloves all the time (though he's not one to back down from a fight) but also because he can fucking bang. And not in a subtle way like Paille who you go "Oh, I didn't know he could do that" but in the way that when Alexei Emelein comes off the ice and hobbles to the dressing room, it's not the first time we've seen it.
Lucic is a bruiser. Lucic is an asshole. Lucic is hated. Lucic is feared. Lucic is a 30-goal-scorer. Lucic is fat. Lucic is dirty. Lucic is a goon. Lucic is overpaid. Lucic is dominant. Lucic is a hell of a player. None of these are things you haven't heard before. You probably agree with at least couple of them. Here's one that I like a lot, but I'm in a funny mood today:
Lucic isn't afraid to hurt somebody.
Often, of course, that's on the scoreboard, or with a couple punches to the face. But sometimes...well, sometimes you probably shouldn't have poked the bear. Before I go further I'd like to point out that he's not Matt Cooke or Raffi Torres, literally taking guys out with launching elbows. But then again, I'm sure someone will have an example of that. This puts Lucic in a different category of athlete. This puts him up there with Ivan "If he dies he dies" Drago. With the bad guys. Yeah, the bad guys, Berkshire. Hell yeah. This puts him with the 80s Miami Hurricanes. The heel in wrestling. He's, to borrow a phrase from David Ortiz, a "bad man." He's hellish to play against, and we love him for it. Why do we love it? I'll dive into the archives of the best Habs blog to ever grace the internet, Four Habs Fans, for a peek into why. They shut down in October 2011 (unfortunately) so this is slightly outdated:
Why do we hate the Bruins so? We hate because Eddie Shore was a dirty cheap-shot artist, because Jonathan, Wensink, O'Reilly and Milbury brawled their way through the 70's, because Esposito, Orr, Bourque and Neely were stars, because Neely always broke Montreal's back with a shot over Roy's glove, because Lucic demolished Komisarek, because Cheevers and Moog and Thomas and Frankie Brimsek gave the Canadiens fits. Because Bruins fans piss on visitors to their rink. Because the Boston Garden was a cramped, rat infested cesspool and the TD Banknorth visitors dressing room is the size of a closet. Because B's fans are proud of their team's lunchbucket, beat em in the alley ethos. Because for 100 years the Canadiens have emphasised Gallic flair, speed, skill and firewagon hockey and the Bruins have spent almost as long trying to choke the life out of it. We hate because Zdeno Chara is still among the league's best, because Tim Thomas is having an otherworldly season, because for all our taunts about Lucic being a talentless thug, he's on pace for almost 40 goals and we would kill to have someone like him.
What a beautiful thing. I wish they would come back, but I know they won't. The hate lasts in their archives forever, though. And the "Lucic is an Asshole" tag doesn't get old.
So nevermind that he's shooting at a slightly lower rate, because he's playing just a little below usual. He's Milan Fucking Lucic, and he's here to ruin your day. And you know the whole Gahden is going to stand up and cheer when he does it. Because we love this shit.
Here's the hit where Emelin Hamhuis'ed himself. Enjoy: