BOSTON — It’s rare to hear a guy in any walk of life take the blame for getting punched in the face.
That’s exactly what Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman did this morning, however, when he was asked about the punch Bruins forward Milan Lucic landed on the blueliner’s chin late in the third period of the Lightning’s Game 1 win last night at the TD Garden.
After the Lightning’s 5-2 win, Tampa Bay head coach thought the league should review the play. Hedman had a different opinion today.
“I don’t know [if he should’ve been suspended or fined]. It’s obviously a part of the game too,” said Hedman after his team’s practice at the Garden. “I wasn’t really ready for that punch. But I mean, it’s a part of the game. I have to be more ready the next time. You get into a scrum, you can’t take a risk like that. You can get hurt. So I mean I have to be more careful of that and not get sucked into that.”
Today Boucher was holding out hope the league might come down on Lucic.
“The league knows what they’re doing and they’ve had a lot to deal with during the year and in the playoffs and they’ve got their standards. And we’re going to see what the reaction is,” said the coach.
After Nathan Horton threw a punch during play at Dominic Moore, Lucic came in after the whistle and popped Hedman. Both Horton and Lucic were given roughing penalties and 10-minute misconducts. The Lightning wound up with a 5-on-3 power play because they didn’t cross the line with retaliation.
“I think it’s very important that we stay strong within ourselves and don’t get caught up,” said Hedman. “We don’t want our emotions to take over the game. We want to stay calm and stay strong within ourselves.”
We’ll find out if the Lightning can continue to stay composed in Game 2 Tuesday night.