The Calgary Flames could be without one of their key veterans for Game 4 – or at least that veteran may be lighter in the wallet – after an incident in Game 3 of their second round series with the Edmonton Oilers.
Forward Milan Lucic was assessed a major penalty for charging and a game misconduct for a hit behind the net on Oilers goaltender Mike Smith in the third period.
Here’s the hit:
The big question is “Will there be supplemental discipline?” The sub-question is “How much?”
Here are three recent supplemental discipline rulings that involved players hitting goaltenders over the past few years.
The Department of Player Safety generally decides supplemental discipline based on a few factors:
- The severity of the incident – was it something they don’t want players doing, or are they hockey plays where something went a little sideways?
- The situation within the game – was it meant to intimidate or send a message in a one-sided game?
- Any injuries caused by the incident
- The supplemental discipline history of the player involved
The hit was crashing into a goaltender in a somewhat vulnerable situation fairly recklessly – Lucic seemed to pull up before hitting Smith, so calling the play predatory might be a stretch, but it was still avoidable contact that sent Smith crashing into the boards. The game was 4-0 and well out of hand for the Flames. There were no injuries. And while Lucic isn’t considered a repeat offender – his last suspension was in early 2019-20, well past the 18 month window for being a repeat offender under the CBA – but Lucic has been suspended twice and fined three times in his NHL career.
Our prediction is Lucic will be fined, but we’ll see what Player Safety decides.
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