A match penalty did not equal a suspension for Boston’s Milan Lucic for the late punch thrown at Thrashers defenseman Freddy Meyer during Thursday’s game.
With 4:06 left in the 4-1 Boston win, Meyer checked Lucic high as he entered the offensive zone. Lucic and teammate Andrew Ference immediately went after Meyer and eventually all 10 skaters were involved in fights. Four Thrashers received 39 minutes and four Bruins received 57 minutes in penalties. Lucic received a match penalty and a game misconduct.
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli issued a statement Sunday saying Lucic was not suspended by the NHL for his actions but fined a total of $3,500. Chiarelli said Lucic was fined $2,500 for the punch and $1,000 for an obscene gesture directed at the Thrashers’ bench. Lucic traveled with the Bruins for Monday’s game at Florida.
According to Rule 21.1 of the NHL official rules, a match penalty “shall be imposed on any player who deliberately attempts to injure or who delibertely injures an opponent in any manner.”
“Obviously, Freddy was clearly not ready for that punch,” Eric Boulton said. “It was a cheap shot. I’ll leave it at that.”
Bryan Little was one of the Thrashers involved in the fight as he took on Marc Savard. Both were given fighting majors and game misconduct penalties.
“He was trying to get in the other fight, in the middle of it, and I was just holding him,” Little said. “He wanted to fight. He kind of wanted to. I wasn’t going to say no.”
Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said Sunday morning that he didn’t expect any of his players to be suspended for the incident. He said he expected that would not be the case for the Bruins.
The teams meet again Thursday in Atlanta.