BOSTON — The Bruins and Canucks on Saturday met for the first time since last June's Stanley Cup Final, but for Milan Lucic, it was a rather brief reunion.
The big Bruins winger was given a game misconduct just 3:54 into the game, after he had skated just 1:31.
The penalty came after a line brawl involving both teams. Shawn Thornton was at the bottom of a pile of five Canucks players, so Lucic stayed on the ice after initially leaving it to get involved in the scrap. Lucic likely received the game misconduct because he got on the ice when five skaters were already there.
While leaving the bench can be a suspendable offense, Lucic may be saved by the fact that linemates David Krejci and Nathan Horton were already on the ice.
A similar incident occurred last month in New York, when Artem Anisimov celebrated by turning his stick into a gun after a goal, prompting a mini-fracas at Madison Square Garden. Steve Downie left the Tampa Bay bench to involve himself in the scrap, but he was only fined $2,500. That was the maximum fine for leaving the bench during a legal line change to join a fight.
It's certainly different from last year's situation with Eric Godard, who left the bench specifically to fight during the Penguins-Islanders mess that resulted in nearly 350 penalty minutes being handed out. Despite the fact that Godard was protecting his goalie from getting in a fight, he was suspended for 10 games.