I’ve watched the replay numerous times. One thing needs to be done... and a clear message needs to be sent.
Milan Lucic needs to be suspended, or have SOME type of consequence for his hit on Miller tonight.
There’s no question. No matter how many times that I see the hit on Miller, Lucic intended to hurt him, and didn’t need to. The intent to hurt was clear. He could have pulled up, skated around Miller. Instead, he plowed him over, got his elbow up to Miller’s head, and had a look of shock when he received a penalty.
If I’m not mistaken, the NHL and Brendan Shanahan have made it clear that they is trying to crack down on incidents when players are going out and intentionally trying to hurt their opponents. I agree whole heartedly with the suspension to Kaleta. As much as I like him, he deserved that suspension. I agreed with the suspension on James Wisniewski. This is what needs to be removed from the game. Plus, the message needs to be sent to players that this will no longer be tolerated.
Apparently, Milan Lucic missed that, or just doesn’t care. I think this escalation of penalties for hits with the intent to hurt is clear. However, keep it consistent, and keep it severe. If this is to be eliminated from the game, then the penalties need to continue, for EVERYONE. If Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Alexander Ovechkin, or any other high profile player did it to someone, he should be punished just like everyone else. It also doesn’t matter whether the player hit is hurt. If the intent is there, that’s all that matters.
Again, I hope that the NHL steps up and acts on this. Hits with the intent to hurt are a suspension worthy act in the NHL. Make sure Milan Lucic gets that message this time, as well as anyone who may think that this rule doesn’t apply to them.