Lucic and Landeskog Steal Attention from Avalanche Win Over Bruins

By Mike Miccoli

What happens when Milan Lucic wants to fight Gabriel Landeskog?

It’s a weird question, right? Take a talented, young captain of an Avalanche team who is on the verge of winning their fourth-straight game to start the season under new coach Patrick Roy, and pair him with the Bruins’ top-line winger who is no stranger to mixing it up with opponents.

So, who wins? Nobody, really.

Milan Lucic Bruins

Milan Lucic has no real issues with fighting. (Icon SMI)

Late in the second period of Thursday night’s 2-0 Avalanche win over the Bruins, Lucic appeared to be upset with Landeskog following a hit after the whistle, leading to exchange of shoves. Both players seemed destined to drop their gloves but it wasn’t much of a fight, rather a lengthy exchanging of verbals that ultimately ended with Lucic shoving Landeskog in the face. And while the refs let this ‘is-this-going-to-be-a-fight-or-is-this-not-going-to-be-a-fight’ go on for a tad too long, it was Lucic that ended up with an extra infraction, a ten-minute misconduct, against that of Landeskog’s two minutes for roughing once they stepped in.

It was a bizarre interaction to begin with. While Jarome Iginla and P.A. Parenteau were already heading off for matching roughing penalties in the scrum in front of Avalanche goalie J-S Giguere, four NHL officials would watch Lucic and Landeskog yell at each other. That’s it. Just yelling.

Of course, the general consensus in the rough and tumble city of Boston would be that Landeskog backed down from a Lucic fight after he dropped his gloves. In reality, it was a smart move by the Avalanche captain, who does have a history of concussions, testing the thin patience of Lucic and knowing that it’d cost the Bruins. It did.

“The grab from behind, in the face,” Lucic explained, was the tipping point for his engagement with Landeskog. “It’s just an altercation, but I bet you if I would have pushed Bordeleau at the end of it, I don’t get ten minutes.”

After the game, it was evident that Lucic was upset at the call that cost him to miss more than 12 minutes of the third period with the Bruins down by a goal. He was even more angry at the type of reputation he seems to be gathering.

“If someone pushed me at the end of an altercation like that, I highly doubt they would have gotten ten minutes,” said Lucic.

Bruins’ head coach Claude Julien agreed with his winger that the call was a bit tilted.

“You’re not going to win those wars anyway, whether you complain about it or not,” said Julien after the game. “The other guy’s still chirping him, he gives him a shot and the referees decide that he’s going to be taken to ten. Certainly not what you want as a coach; an important player like that you’d rather have him on the ice.

“I thought it was a bit soft to be honest with you.”

Naturally, his opposing counterpart had a bit of a different take on the situation. For Roy, having one of his best players in the box for an extended period of time with Colorado ahead just wasn’t an option.

“We don’t have anything to prove fighting with [Lucic],” said Roy. “I don’t believe that fighting is that important in our game and at the same time, there’s no reason for Gabe to go to the box for ten minutes. We need him on the ice. He’s one of our best players.”

While the top line of Lucic, Iginla, and David Krejci didn’t generate many chances in the Avalanche zone, their best scoring opportunity came early in the third period when fill-in Daniel Paille couldn’t bury a shot past Giguere. Paille was muscled off the puck easily in a prime example of where the Bruins could have used Lucic’s skill and size.

“You want to be a part of it,” said Lucic. “You want to be able to do whatever you can to help your team win. Unfortunately, it took me right out of the game. We were still able to generate more as a line and hopefully we can build off of that.”

At the end of the day, it’s not about being the toughest guy on the ice. It’s about winning. Losing their top-line left winger for ten minutes in a game where they’re behind by one goal ultimately hurt the Bruins.

Coward or not, reputation call or not, it’s always about winning. The Avalanche did just that.

Mike Miccoli

Mike Miccoli

Mike Miccoli covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers and has been a credentialed member of the media for all Bruins' home games for the past five years. As a former player, coach and official, Miccoli has been around the game of hockey since the age of three. Along with his work on THW, Miccoli has also been published in the New England Hockey Journal, Improper Bostonian magazine and on BostInno. You can follow him at twitter.com/mikemiccoli.
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5 Comments

  1. He sure doesn’t seem like captain material. Sounds like Landeskog has been reading from the Subban playbook.

  2. Except that Landeskog did not ever drop his gloves. Oh sure he was talking but he was never going to fight.

  3. Angry Bruins Fan says:

    What a lazy article. There was a whole game and you write about a single non-fight at the end of the 2nd?

    But really, Landeskog should’ve fought him. He didn’t fight Lucic because he was scared on what Milan would do to him. Hockey is a game for tough guys, maybe Landeskog should learn that. And what BS on the refs; Lucic shouldn’t have gotten that 10 minutes at all.

    Stop being an apologist for the other teams. That should have been a fight and Lucic should have kicked his ass.

    • Seriously? Why should landeskog have fought him? All Landy was doing was the exact same thing that Lucic was doing to Parenteau. So he grabbed him from behind. He wasn;t trying to start a fight…So because Landeskog grabs him Lucic turns around and starts throwing punches.

      The point is Lucic lost control, and should have been smarter than the way he reacted. Once you try to start a fight, and the other guy doesn’t drop his gloves, you should be smart enough to go pick up your gloves and move on to the next play. Lucic kept giving Landeskog jabs for about 2 minutes, and wouldn’t let up. He deserved the 10 minutes.

      Obviously Landeskog was right in the way he reacted….he played the entire third period. That’s just being smart.

      Let’s look at the alternatives: Fight Lucic, Get your butt kicked, and then sit out for an extra 5 minutes. VS Don;t fight Lucic, Don;t get hurt (since you sat out half the year last year with a concussion), and play the third period.

      I’m pretty sure the 20 year old made the better decision in this one.

      And Lucic’s comments about if he did it Bordeleau are dumb. Of course you wouldn’t have gotten a 10 minute for that, because Bordeleau would have fought. Meaning you both wouldve received 5 minutes. Lucic is an idiot

    • “Angry Bruins Fan” should be dumb bruins fan. Landy was doing what a captain does, help his team win. Just because Lucic is being a douchebag doesn’t mean everyone else needs to. Would you say the same thing if it was Toews? doubt it, actually you might, but you would be just as wrong. Lucic brought up Bordeleau after the game, but I never once saw Lucic actually ever come close to him during the game. Oh yea, Lucic only goes after smaller guys who don’t fight. I keep forgetting that. My bad.

      Get over it, Lucic was wrong, screwed up and hurt his team. If you want to be mad, be mad at him.

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