WILMINGTON, Mass. — Considering a Montreal player had been rushed to the hospital a period earlier, it seemed a tad inappropriate that at the tail end of the Bruins’ 4-1 loss last night Milan Lucic was trying to challenge Benoit Pouliot to a fight.
It becomes very inappropriate when you learn that, as suspected, Lucic was trying to send a message to Pouliot for something that took place in a game a month ago — a fight between Pouliot and David Krejci Feb. 9 — and not something that happened at the Bell Centre last night.
“Well, he fought [Krejci]. He’s pretty tough when he fights [Krejci] but when he has to fight a guy his own size he clearly won’t do it,” Lucic told TheBruinsBlog.net in a 1-on-1 chat after practice today at Ristuccia Arena.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Pouliot did in fact turn down Lucic’s offer to dance, which the Bruins winger delivered repeatedly by way of mouth over the course of a skate down the entire length of the ice as the clock ticked down on the Habs’ victory. After a whistle, the exchange of words continued until Lucic was taken to the penalty box for roughing at 17:34. Had Pouliot accepted Lucic’s offer to fight, the Bruins forward risked receiving a misconduct and suspension if he also received an instigator on the play.
Even if you believe that Pouliot, who has just three career NHL fighting majors according to hockeyfights.com, was chicken, you can at least see his side of the decision not to fight. His teammate Max Pacioretty had been wheeled out of the rink about 30 minutes earlier after an unfortunate hit from Zdeno Chara. And Montreal was on its way to an impressive win over a division rival.
“I mean, you know … that was the only opportunity for let’s say myself, because that was the only opportunity I was on the ice with him. So that’s why, I felt like even if you don’t fight, you still let the guy know,” said Lucic.
If you check out the fight video here it kind of looks like the 5-11, 176-pound Krejci actually challenged Pouliot anyway:
But regardless of what happened a month ago between Krejci and Pouliot, Lucic’s attempt to ignite a second bout was ill-timed both in terms of the time left in the game and the proximity in time to the Chara/Pacioretty hit.