Early in the first period, Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin threw a hit on Milan Lucic near center ice. Emelin went low, and Lucic was not happy about it. Neither was Zdeno Chara, who came in and drew a roughing penalty after leveling Emelin from behind. Lucic later tried to square off with Emelin, but he was unwilling to fight because he has a metal plate in his head.
“Whether it’s fair, legal or whatever you want to call it, if he wasn’t scared, he would stand up and hit me and not go after my knees,” Lucic said after the game, via CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty. “It just shows how big of a chicken he is that he needs to go down like that to take me down.”
Lucic and Emelin have a history together, as do many players on the Bruins and Canadiens. Lucic laid him out several times during Boston’s win over Montreal a couple of weeks ago, and Emelin injured his knee last season while taking a run at Lucic.
Emelin was not called for a penalty on Monday, but the hit was a bit low. It’s the type of hit that is technically legal but is frowned upon because it was so close to the knee. The Canadiens and Bruins are two of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference at the moment. Hockey fans should cross their fingers they meet in the playoffs.