SUNRISE, Fla. --
The fact that Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic
would still be part of the B's lineup here in Florida was the biggest topic of conversation around the club's morning skate on Monday.
|Boston Bruins and Atlanta Thrashers brawl in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, in Boston. Five players received game misconducts and Milan Lucic (17) was called for a match penalty. The Bruins won 4-1. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) |
"They made it clear...that’s something that shouldn’t be a part of the game and I feel the same way," said Lucic of the NHL's decision to fine him rather than have him sit out any contests.
"Obviously, looking back at [last Thursday's line brawl with Atlanta, it's] something you know that I shouldn’t have done," he said. "But sometimes you do things you don’t mean to do when the adrenaline’s going and I’m just happy it wasn’t any game suspension and I’ll take the fine."
Asked again about the Thrashers Freddy Meyer, and the legality of the hit that ignited the fisticuffs, Lucic was steadfast in his assessment..
"I was bleeding from the mouth and it was similar to that hit I took from [Bryan] Berard my rookie year when I ended up missing five games because of a concussion," said Lucic. "It was right on the chin, right on the head, so you know that’s why we reacted as a group."
It was that group reaction, which seems to be the bright side to the whole brawl.
"After all that, it was good to see the guys have my back and we all had each other’s backs on the ice there," he said. "It’s a great feeling to have when you know the guys on the ice have your back no matter what the situation is."
Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien reiterated his relief that Lucic would remain on the B's game roster.
"Yeah, I mean you don’t want to lose those kinds of players if you can help it," said Julien. "And I think the fact that he’s in our line-up tonight is definitely a positive."
Julien said that the B's might have had some decisions to make had Lucic been suspended, particularly with forward Brad Marchand
working his way back from injury.
"I think Marchand, in a pinch, could have played," explained Julien. "I think right now he’s not 100 percent and...our trainers right now are saying, that since our team is healthy, it's probably [better] to keep him out.
"So we might have called somebody up or we might have used Marsh and, you know, I think if you look at the situation March is a day-to-day and...if we were in a position where we were right near the playoffs or in the playoffs, I’m sure guys play through different injuries.
"[But] during the season you hold them back."
In the meantime, however, nothing has held Daniel Paille
back -- the forward has filled in nicely.
"I thought [Paille] played a real solid game for us...last game, and you hope he can build on that," said Julien. "He’s a good skater, a good forechecker, a good penalty killer.
"We’re counting on him to do that."
And Lucic was counting on somebody from Atlanta's squad to challenge him when the Bruins play the Thrashers again on Thursday.
"I’m sure it’ll happen," said Lucic. "I’ll stick up for myself and if they do come knocking ill be there to answer the call."