The Vancouver Canucks were more than willing to talk about the Brendan Shanahan‘s decision not to suspend Bruins winger Milan Lucic on Monday. Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, one of the most outspoken Canucks was Alex Burrows.
The Canucks were asked about the decision on Monday, and the general consensus was that Shanahan probably should have come down harder on Lucic following his hit on Sabres goalie Ryan Miller in an attempt to help prevent goalies from danger in the future.
Burrows, according to The Province, was confused about the lack of discipline and what it could lead to in the future.
“I’m really surprised and even more confused,” he said. “I’ve been trying to figure it out and I don’t know if goalies are in play now if they’re out their crease. This might set a precedent. Shanahan played the game and he probably knew that [Lucic] had time to move and growing up you learn you can’t really hit the goalies. I would have dove at the puck or tried to get out of the way.”
What are the potential consequences of allowing such plays to go without punishment? According to Burrows, it could set hockey back some.
“I thought there would be repercussions. We’re concerned. I thought we were trying to get those kind of hits out of this league and now it might be back to old-time hockey. The next thing you know, you might have a line brawl or a bench clearing.”
Burrows’ comments are somewhat perplexing when you take the incident below into account as well.
However, Burrows was not alone in his puzzlement toward the decision. Much of it centered around what allowing the type of hit Lucic put on Miller would lead to in the future.
“That should never happened and it wasn’t fun to watch,” forward Daniel Sedin said, according to The Province. “[Goalies] are not used to getting hit and it’s tough for them to get out of the way. They’re going to be a target if you allow those kind of hits. Goalies have a tough time skating with all the pads they have on and you have to protect them or it’s going to be ugly out there.”
Henrik Sedin echoed his brother’s thoughts.
“It wasn’t fun to watch. Everyone knows goalies didn’t grow up practicing taking hits. That’s not their job. It shouldn’t have happened.”
Rick Bowness, a member of Alain Vigneault‘s coaching staff, took a different approach than a handful of the players in his room.
“You come out of the net that far — all bets are off,” Bowness said. “That’s the cold reality of our sport. It’s not a matter of protecting them to me, the goalie comes out that far and makes a decision to play the puck, all bets are off and it’s up to the teams to sort that out.”
Of course the Sabres didn’t doing anything to “sort that out” following Lucic’s hit on Miller, as the winger went basically untouched for the remainder of Saturday night’s game.
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