LOS ANGELES – Milan Lucic thought Logan Couture’s submarine hit on him late in the San Jose Sharks' 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings was a dirty play – one that could have merited an injury. So Lucic was perplexed as to why he received a match penalty for going after Couture following the hit.
“Just a low hit. I didn’t like it so I reacted to it,” Lucic said. “I don’t know why I got a match penalty. I didn’t cross any line. Obviously I deserved a penalty but I don’t know why it was called a match penalty. At the end of the day, I don’t care who it is on the other side, you’re going to hit someone like that, you could easily injure someone. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, definitely going to react to it. “
By getting a match penalty, Lucic is automatically suspended the next game pending an NHL review. The penalty occurred at the 18:41 mark of the contest.
Per the NHL rulebook:
A match penalty shall be imposed on any player who deliberately attempts to injure or who deliberately injures an opponent in any manner.
Lucic believed a review would show that the play didn’t deserve any supplementary discipline.
“I would be very surprised if I got anything extra,” Lucic said. “Obviously I crossed the line to deserve two minutes, but a match penalty? Not at all.”
Kings coach Darryl Sutter believed any type of penalty was a stretch.
“At best it’s a minor penalty,” he said.
When it was brought up to Lucic that his coach didn’t believe it was a penalty, Lucic cracked a slight smile.
“I don’t want to disagree with him, but it might have been a roughing penalty and that’s about it,” Lucic said.
Said Couture, “I just finished my check. That’s hockey, right? You’re supposed to finish your checks. I didn’t think there were players that you’re not allowed to hit in the league. Obviously he took exception to that and didn’t like it. So, came after me. We’ll see what happens.”
Overall, it was quite a forgettable performance for Lucic in his first game as a King.
He missed on an open scoring chance in the first period. In the second period he set up Tyler Toffoli in front of Sharks goaltender Martin Jones, but Toffoli didn’t convert.
Lucic registered one shot on goal in 16:35 of action and was a minus-2.
His line with Anze Kopitar at center and Marian Gaborik on the other wing was “flat” according to Sutter. That was the only word used by Sutter when asked about the trio. All three were each a minus-2.
“We didn’t play the way we should and we were very sloppy,” Kopitar said.
- - - - - - -
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY