Oilers winger Milan Lucic had been steamed at Ducks defenders all game after some rough play. In the second period, Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm got tangled with another player and Lucic stepped in.
And it looked like he tried to choke him. Or at least thought about it for a long second.
Lucic was penalized for roughing, as was Lindholm. But you have to wonder if the NHL takes a closer look at this, or if they should. Face-washing an opponent is one thing, but clinging to a player’s throat and pinning him to the glass like that certainly signifies some sort of intent.
And Lucic’s past can’t be ignored, either. He was suspended in the 2009 playoffs for a cross-check to the head, suspended in 2012 for an illegal hit (weeks after avoiding suspension for a hit to the head on a Sabres goalie), and drew universal criticism in 2014 when a hot mic picked up a threat made to an opponent in a handshake line.
Lucic signed a massive contract with the Oilers two years ago in part due to his toughness and ability to protect star players. It’s not unreasonable to watch that clip from Game 3 and wonder if he crossed some sort of line.