Almost as much fun as seeing the Bruins and Canadiens play each other, is watching the on-ice interaction between Boston left winger Milan Lucic and Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin. It is the classic meeting of the irresistible force and the immovable object; a mating of fire and ice. Lucic – one of hockey’s angry competitors. Emelin – the coldblooded hit man. What could possibly go wrong with that?
Thursday Emelin renewed acquaintances in the third minute of the season’s first meeting with one of his patented hard open ice hits. Lucic then picked the worst possible time to even up matters when he hit Emelin up against the glass with 1:20 remaining in a opne-goal game. Lucic was given a boarding penalty on the play and when he reached the penalty box reacted with a lewd gesture directed at the fans. The Canadiens scored an empty net power play goal to clinch the game and Lucic vented coming out of the penalty box for which he was given a misconduct. Friday morning the NHL fined Lucic five-thousand dollars Friday morning for fan-directed obscene gesture.
Just another chapter in the intense long running feud between two of hockey’s big men.
Who knows how these things begin. They have been going at each hammer and tong almost from the day Emelin arrived in the league four years ago. Things really heated up in March of 2013 when Emelin, in the process of delivering a heavy hit on an unyielding Lucic, fell back awkwardly and suffered a season-ending torn ligament in his left knee. (video below)
Last March Emelin delivered a clean open ice hipcheck that led Lucic to claim his knees were being targeted. “It just shows how big of a chicken he is, that he needs to go down like that to take me down.” Lucic got his own revenge later in the game when he delivered a spear to Emelin’s nether region. Lucic again speared Emelin in Game Three of last year’s playoffs and then in the handshake line threatened to “f**king kill” Emelin sometime this season.
And so it goes. We haven’t heard or seen the end of this.
EMELIN FIRST PERIOD OPEN ICE HIT ON LUCIC THURSDAY
LUCIC PENALIZED FOR HIT ON EMELIN CANADIENS SCORE EMPTY NET GOAL
APRIL 6, 2013 EMELIN HURT HITTING LUCIC
MARCH 24, 2014 EMELIN OPEN ICE HIP CHECK ON LUCIC
MARCH 24, 2014 LUCIC RETALIATES WITH SPEAR
MARCH 24, 2014 LUCIC POSTGAME – CALLS EMELIN “CHICKEN”
MAY 6, 2014 PLAYOFFS – LUCIC SPEARS EMELIN
MAY 12, 2014 PLAYOFFS – LUCIC HITS EMELIN
MAY 14, 2014 – LUCIC IN THE HANDSHAKE LINE