There were only two people in the world who knew what was going on when Milan Lucic was sent to the bench in the closing minutes of Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Sabres, and those two people were Lucic and referee Dan O’Rourke.
Lucic was giving O’Rourke an earful from the bench, and the referee with more than 400 games under his belt called Lucic for a two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. The call put the B’s a man down for the remainder of regulation, and though the Bruins pulled their goalie and nearly scored on a Patrice Bergeron attempt off the side of Ryan Miller‘s net, it essentially cost them a chance to win the game.
Lucic explained, as noted by the Boston Herald, that he was upset because he was called for boarding late in the first period — a penalty that led to a Buffalo power-play goal. When he felt he was the victim of the same offense in the third period on a play that went uncalled, he let the ref hear his frustrations.
Needless to say, Lucic was not happy after the game. He wasn’t shy, either.
“The reason he gave me the penalty in the first period was he said [Paul] Gaustad didn’t have the puck,” Lucic said, according to the Herald. “Well, he had the puck and he just got rid of it. Then I dump it in from the red line, skate all the way to the blue line and get taken out by two guys. And he doesn’t call the same penalty. That’s the exact same thing I got called for earlier. I mean, how can you not be upset?
“If you’re going to call something earlier and come over and explain it to me, you’ve got to keep it consistent,” he went on to say.
Lucic said that he called the ref “a joke” and said he was “embarrassing,” and that’s what got him the two-minute minor.
“I just don’t get it. … You can’t put us down a man,” he said. “Give me a [10-minute misconduct penalty]. You can’t put us down at that point in a game./p>
Fortunately for the Sabres, Lucic was locked in the penalty box when the scrum took place after the final horn sounded, because you can bet he would have loved nothing more than to take out some frustration on the opponent. Fortunately for him, he’ll get his chance on Thursday night, when he walks into a building in Montreal that isn’t exactly full of Lucic fans.
Perhaps the pent-up anger from Wednesday will result in the first Lucic fight since Oct. 23.
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