November 14, 2011

Lucic confident Shanahan will make proper ruling

By Jesse Connolly

WILMINGTON – When practice was wrapped up at Ristuccia Arena on Monday morning, it was time to play the waiting game for Milan Lucic.

Milan Lucic and Ryan Miller engaged in a nasty collision during the first period on Saturday night at the Garden. (Getty)

The Bruins winger had a hearing with Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s chief disciplinarian, scheduled for 1 o’clock for his now-infamous collision with Sabres netminder Ryan Miller.

“It’s obviously something that I just have to go through and just state my case,” Lucic said. “Whatever happens, happens. All I can do is tell my end of the story and what happened.”

Lucic reiterated the same tale as the one he told on Saturday night after Boston’s 6-2 win over Buffalo, stressing that Miller came into his sightline late and that he didn’t have time to pull up.

“I blocked the shot and I pushed the puck a little too far ahead of me,” said Lucic, who was coming in on a potential breakaway when Miller bolted from his crease to play the puck. “I first came after the puck as hard as I possibly could. I looked at the puck and I was continuing on. Next thing I look up and he’s coming out full speed right at me. It was a hard collision and I did everything I could just to brace myself.

“Like he said, I have fifty pounds on him, so that’s probably why he might’ve got the worst of it. Even if you look at the video, I was cringing after the play because I was winded and because it was such a hard collision. He got a good piece of me as well.”

For Miller, the worst of it is a reported concussion. The Sabres’ goalie left after the second period trailing 3-1.

“I’ve looked at the hit a hundred times because he said he got a concussion,” Lucic said. “His shoulder hit my chest, so there was no hit to his head. His helmet came flying off, but his head didn’t hit the ice. Later on in that period, one of their guys lifted [Tyler] Seguin’s stick and threw him into the net as well, so who knows what it was. It’s obviously unfortunate he got hurt on the play.”

As for Miller’s harsh words about the winger after the game, in which he called the hit gutless and referred to Lucic as a “piece of (expletive),” the B’s forward wasn’t too riled up about it.

“Obviously he felt like he needed to stick around and say what he said,” Lucic said. “For me, it’s just in one ear and out the other. I’ll just move on and focus on what I need to do to continue helping this team be successful.”

Though getting suspended would throw a wrench in those plans.

“Obviously you’d be disappointed no matter if the team was on a roll or not on a roll,” said Lucic, who has played a key role in Boston’s five-game winning streak. “For myself, these last eight or nine games I’ve found my game, so the last thing you want to do is get out of the lineup. It’s out of my control. I feel like Brendan Shanahan’s been doing a real good job of what he’s been doing this year and he’s going to make the right decision.”