It is well covered on this fair blog how stupid and self-defeating the concept of GRIT and FART is in this league, and yet it persists because of players like Milan Lucic. Where people should be lampooning this guy for being an oaf and a menace, instead he’s got a “physical style of play.” My ass. If you make your name by fucking up unsuspecting players AND manage to fuck up yourself half the time while doing it (see: broke a finger while hitting a guy), you need to re-evaluate. Or more importantly, your team’s GM needs to re-evaluate.
Maxim Lapierre, Freddy Meyer, Ryan Miller—these are just some of the guys who have been cheap-shotted by Lucic over the years, often resulting in an injury (e.g., Miller’s concussion after Lucic steamrolled him in 2011). The fact that Miller called him, and I quote, “a gutless piece of shit” will forever endear Miller to me. But just a few games later, he pulled something similar with Zac Rinaldo, and yet what did all this result in? A one-game suspension. One. Fucking. Game. And it was for the Rinaldo hit, because the NHL had already made themselves look like total jackasses by letting the Miller hit slide.
And this is why these dumb ideas about tough guys still exist in this league. Prior to those dirty hits I just mentioned, Lucic was part of the Stanley Cup-winning Bruins in 2010-2011, and the shine from that cup hides all manner of sins, both on and off the ice (hello, Patrick Kane), and it blinds coaches, GMs, officials, and league staff to the pointlessness of this type of play. Did having Lucic act out short man fantasies and be Mr. Tough Guy really help the Bruins win? No, his 62 points that year did. But being able to score doesn’t require you to be a piece of shit. You only do that because 1. you want to and 2. you know you can get away with. And he does.
I’m not saying that Milan Lucic ruined Miller’s career or the careers of any of the other guys I mentioned (or all the other dirty hits not mentioned here), but if the NHL wants to act like they give a rat’s ass about player safety, this is exactly the type of guy who needs to be reined in. Letting assholes like Lucic run amok while claiming to care about concussion protocols proves that the proverbial emperor really has no clothes. And now I just pictured Gary Bettman with no clothes and I’m going to be sick.
Anyway, I just hope that Top Cat and Schmaltz can stay out of his orbit tonight because they’re just the type of fresh-faced youngsters this goon will go after.
Game #37 Preview