Just watching a bit of the Bruins-Avalanche game, and at the end of the second, Milan Lucic did everything he could to goad Gabriel Landeskog into a fight. Good job, trying to get a player barely out of his teens that he outweighs by fifty pounds to drop the gloves. Cory Sarich tried to intervene, but he was held back by Zdeno Chara. The refs kind of stood around, watching, waiting to see what develops. As if Mr. Landeskog wanted any part of this, that he’d decide to have a go at the Bruins orangutan.
This is the kind of asymmetrical warfare that fighting allows in hockey. It normalizes assault, intimidation, goonery. Milan Lucic wasn’t trying to get after 6’5″ Patrick Bordeleau, he was going after a clear non-fighter. “Well, that’s a fourth-liner,” dissembles the NESN stooge, “Milan shouldn’t be fighting those guys.” So it doesn’t make sense for Mr. Lucic to fight a fourth-liner, but it’s reasonable to expect that Gabriel Landeskog, who has one career fight, should fight Milan Lucic, since he’s the Avalanche captain trying to rally his team, according to the Boston play-by-play apologists. Even though the Avalanche is leading 1-0 in Boston, and doesn’t really need “rallying”.
This is the kind of nonsense that should be removed from the game. Gabriel Landeskog shouldn’t be made to feel as if he has to fight. He’s playing hockey. The Bruins are trying to drag the game into the gutter. It’s pulling the game into a cesspool, with the Leafs and the Senators and the Sabres and now the Canadiens being drawn in.
For his troubles, Mr. Lucic received a ten-minute misconduct, to the consternation and befuddlement of Jack Edwards and his accomplice. “For what, that last little shove?” they wondered. As if the entire episode wasn’t screaming out for that type of penalty, as if Mr. Lucic isn’t a walking breathing misconduct in progress.