Bruins forward Milan Lucic, otherwise known as a piece of you-know-what to Ryan Miller, will play for the Bruins tonight against the Devils instead of being subject to discipline.
And Bruins coach Claude Julien sees no problem with that.
“From our end of it, we were convinced it wasn’t deliberate,” Julien said of Lucic’s controversial collision with Miller, the Buffalo goaltender, on Saturday.
“We were hoping that was the decision that was going to be taken, and it was.”
NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan ruled that Lucic did not merit any supplemental punishment beyond an in-game penalty.
Lucic was called for charging on the play, on which Miller suffered a concussion. The penalty fell under Rule 42.1, which dictates that goaltenders are not fair game even if they leave the crease.
Miller lashed out at Lucic as “gutless” for the hit.
In Julien’s opinion, goaltenders should be off limits.
“I don’t think they should be hit. Absolutely not,” Julien said. “But there’s a difference between a hit and a collision. That’s always going to be a gray area in people’s minds. Some people are going to call it a hit. Some people are going to call it a collision.
“As far as I’m concerned as a coach, I’ll abide by any rule they want to put in there. If they say you can’t touch him at all, you can’t touch him at all. If they keep the rule the way it is, let’s keep the rule the way it is. I know for a fact if Milan had intended on hitting him, he would have never got up. We know how hard he hits. That speaks for itself.”