Lucic believes hit is nothing major
Winger doesn’t expect suspension
PHILADELPHIA - Considering that Milan Lucic was tossed from yesterday’s game at 16:21 of the second period, the left wing had plenty of time to go over the play in question.
Upon review, Lucic didn’t think his penalty - a five-minute major and a game misconduct for hitting Zac Rinaldo from behind - will warrant a suspension.
“If I directly hit him from behind, hit him in the numbers, and buried him, I’d be the first one to say I should get a call and expect some repercussions,’’ Lucic said.
Instead, Lucic thought he put on the brakes and hit Rinaldo from the side. Prior to the play, Rinaldo and Kimmo Timonen had sandwiched Nathan Horton along the boards.
“I felt like I made every effort to take him out laterally,’’ Lucic said. “I looked at the video and slow-mo’ed it and looked at the point of contact. There was no numbers. It was all shoulders. You could see his body rotating because I took him from the right side.’’
Rinaldo was not injured on the play. Moments after the hit, he fought Horton and got the better of the right wing.
If Lucic is suspended, the Bruins will recall Jordan Caron.
“He let up,’’ coach Claude Julien said of Lucic. “I thought the player turned at the last second. To me, it didn’t appear to be a hit from behind. There was no intent. They talk about guys that let up. He did. It was pretty obvious. Hopefully they’ll look at it the same way we see it and go from there. When I looked at the replay on the Jumbotron, I didn’t see it as bad. But referees have to make quick decisions. I have a chance to stand behind the bench and have a look. I’m not blaming them. I just hope that at the end of it, the decision made is the right one.’’
For the third straight game, Zach Hamill centered the fourth line between Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton. It is Hamill’s natural position, and may very well be his long-term role if he becomes an NHL regular.
But Hamill’s play on the wing in Providence this season may be one reason why he’s been effective in his two call-ups. Because of the stops and starts required on the wing, Hamill has been a more explosive skater.
“We put him on the wing because we thought it would make him skate more,’’ said general manager Peter Chiarelli. “Centers generally skate more. But Zach tended to post up a lot. We wanted to make him skate more from a standing start. He’s actually played well. So I think some of that has translated over to when he’s back at center. He’s moving his feet better.’’
Hamill was on the ice for Paille’s first-period goal, and won five of seven faceoffs in 11:30 of ice time.
“A lot of it is confidence as far as his battle is concerned,’’ Julien said. “You watch him, he goes in there, he stops, and he battles. He doesn’t just curl away. He’s got a bit of an edge to his game. I think he’s getting more comfortable at the pro level that he’s not intimidated by anything.’’
Campbell still out
Gregory Campbell spent his 28th birthday off the ice for the seventh straight day. He has missed the last three games because of a fractured left foot suffered last Saturday against Columbus . . . HBO was on hand for yesterday’s game. There are three episodes remaining of “24/7 Flyers/Rangers’’ leading up to the Winter Classic. Yesterday marked the second straight season in which the Bruins were featured in an HBO-covered game. On Dec, 18, 2010, the Bruins beat Washington at TD Garden, 3-2. After the game, HBO captured a downtrodden George McPhee, the Washington GM, riding the elevator from the Garden press box . . . Thornton appeared in his 400th career game, taking shifts with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand while also skating with Hamill and Paille . . . Rich Peverley took only one shift in the third period because of an undisclosed ailment. Julien said he limited Peverley’s ice time because of the score of the game. Peverley had three assists in 10:05 of action. “Very, very minor,’’ Julien said. “He would have kept playing the whole game. But it’s 5-0.’’ . . . Tyler Seguin had a goal and assist while landing a game-high six shots . . . The Flyers lost rookie Sean Couturier because of a head injury at 19:11 of the first period. During a power play, Timonen rocketed a slap shot off the left side of Couturier’s helmet. The rookie stayed down for several minutes before leaving the ice. According to GM Paul Holmgren, Couturier was being checked at a local hospital for damage to his skull . . . Tomorrow, the Bruins will play their second game in less than a week against a team that has changed coaches. The Canadiens fired Jacques Martin yesterday and replaced him with assistant Randy Cunneyworth. Last Tuesday, the Bruins played the Kings in the first game since John Stevens took over for Terry Murray.