You can thank Milan Lucic for that.
The Kings’ new winger admits he probably deserved a minor penalty when he went after Sharks centreman Logan Couture with just over a minute left in regulation of the season opener. But he thinks it’s more than just his actions that earned him a match penalty and ejection from the game — it’s his reputation.
“I think that’s why I got a match,” Lucic told The Orange County Register. “It’s just because of who I am. If I would have made that hit and someone came after me the same way, he wouldn’t have gotten a match. It just comes with who you are.”
Lucic’s actions were in response to an open-ice hit (see video, above) delivered by Couture — who had just emerged from the penalty box — on Lucic just seconds earlier, for which Couture was not penalized. Couture was, however, also ejected from the game following the altercation at the bench.
Earlier in the game, Couture was caught with a high, mid-ice hit by Lucic’s teammate, winger Dustin Brown.
Lucic, like Brown, said that he has not heard from league officials regarding a possible suspension.
“Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him,” said Lucic. “It’s just like a schoolyard or anything. You’ve got to stand up for yourself when the time is right. If this was 10 years ago and a play like that happened with a minute left, 5-1, it would be a lot messier.”
Couture addressed the incident with Lucic following the game, saying, “I didn’t think there were players that you’re not allowed to hit in this league.”
“I have no idea why he would say that about me,” Lucic said in response. “I get hit just as much as I hit. That’s a dumb comment on his part, but whatever. It just adds fuel to the fire for the upcoming games.”
We won’t have to wait long for the next installment — the Sharks host the Kings on Oct. 22.