The NHL Player Safety department made a very bad call this weekend and it may have dire consequences to goalies. This happened when Milan Lucic was suspended for 2 games for protecting his goalie.
I’m not sure when it has become a suspension-able offence to protect your goalie in the NHL, but here we are. When Milan Lucic came in and punched Kole Sherwood in the face for taking a poke at the Calgary goaltender you would think maybe offsetting minors for the 2 players would be justification enough. Nope, not in todays NHL.
Today’s NHL has zero regard for the goaltenders of the league. From running a goalie to poking at him with your stick. You can do anything and it seems the only one who will be in trouble is the player who stands up for him.
Is it going to take a Ron Hextal style slash or a Ray Emery style fight for the goalies of the NHL to say enough is enough? When you run a goalie or poke him with your stick you should face some repercussion. If not by the referee then by the teams enforcer.
It is no surprise that Calgary added Milan Lucic to plug a hole in the Calgary lineup. The hole he is plugging is the teams weakness and lack of grit. Everyone who watched the 2019 playoff series between Colorado and Calgary can agree that Calgary not only got out hustled but they were severely out muscled.
This won’t happen while Lucic is in the lineup. He is providing exactly what the doctor ordered and exactly what the Flames want. Lucic is a physical presence on the ice and if you are playing Calgary and going to slash and hack anyone, including the goalie, you are going to pay a price.
If you talk to anyone in that Calgary dressing room and especially the goalie you are most likely to find that they are OK with what Lucic did that night. Also if you talk to many of the frustrated Calgary Flames fans you are cheering what he had done.
As for Kole Sherwood, the next time he comes down the right side and the goalie has the puck he will think twice before he sticks his stick into their pads. That is exactly what happened when McDavid and Lucic were together in Edmonton. In Lucic’s time in Edmonton the sticking and cheap shot attempts to McDavid were drastically reduced. That is because players knew Lucic was on the bench and ready to head out there.
The roll of an enforcer or policeman if you will is a necessary part of hockey. When Calgary has the goalie protected they win. Just like we seen against Columbus. David Rittich had a shutout and was protected.
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So with Milan Lucic suspended for protecting a goalie has now become a thing, I guess we will see more suspensions handed out to Calgary this year. The fans won’t mind and the Calgary players won’t mind because he is doing what is needed in hockey today.
Also, Calgary’s GM Brad Treliving took to the press conference to let the media and Calgary know that he stands behind Lucic or any of his players in a situation like this. Treviling also announced that the Flames will not be appealing the decision made by George Parros the head of Player Safety.
Parros, who was no stranger to toughness, has been very inconsistent in his handing down of suspensions. Even in the 2019 playoffs there were times when St. Louis players were suspended for no reason whatsoever.
The league will be better off when George Parros is ousted at his role of Head of the Department of Player Safety. He is becoming a liability to the league with some of his irrational suspensions.
As for Milan Lucic, keep doing what you are doing because the Calgary Flames fans are happy you are doing it. Someone has too. Having Lucic suspended for protecting his goalie will only give the team a boost, especially in the post season.