Last night, Milan Lucic threw an egregious away-from-the-puck hit on Mathieu Joseph and followed up with MMA-style ground and pound. It goes without saying that this type of behavior has no place in the NHL anymore. And the fact it ever did is a testament to the toxicity of olde tyme hockey culture.
Some speculated after the game that Lucic attacked Joseph because of a questionable hit that the rookie put on Kris Russell earlier in the game. On the play, Joseph hit Russell in the back against the boards. The Oilers defender was in a vulnerable position and could have been injured on the play but fortunately, was not. The officials failed to call a penalty, which was an oversight.
Shortly after the hit, Lucic targeted Joseph well away from the puck with a huge blindside hit. And then with Joseph on the ground, Lucic climbed on top of him and began throwing punches.
Milan Lucic tracks down Mathieu Joseph after he hit Kris Russell from behind and almost starts a line brawl pic.twitter.com/9x5CDQHsfG— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) November 7, 2018
For obvious reasons, it seemed apparent that Lucic was responding to the Joseph hit on Russell. But in fact, that wasn’t the case. Using ghost writing methods employed by such fine media outlets as Player’s Tribune, we “helped” Lucic issue a statement this morning to clarify why he was so upset with Joseph.
Milan angry because rookie too fast. Him skate too good and me can’t catch him. Him very cool and everyone like him but Milan live in dumpster full of dirty snow.
This was a surprising revelation “from” Lucic as the reasoning for the hit appeared easy to decipher immediately after it happened. Channeling frustration over poor performance into violence like a pubescent teenager punching a pillow is a time-honored tradition in hockey. Lucic appeared to be just another skill-deficient goon trying to justify a bloated contract by impressing his teammates with his grade school bullying techniques.
But in fact, Lucic clarified the confusion over his behavior in the statement we helped him release earlier today, saying:
Dumpster no have tv. Milan like watch Sesame Street on tv at rink. Me like Oscar. Him have small dumb garbage can. Not big dumpster mansion like Milan. But him also have friends visit him. No friends visit Milan. That make Milan sad sometimes. So Milan chew on old shoe to feel better.
This part of the statement gets a little obscure in terms of its relevance to the hit on Joseph. Lucic seems to be expressing frustration at not being able to watch Oscar the Grouch, toward whom he appears to have intense feelings of both superiority and jealousy.
Upon first viewing of the hit, it looked like a foregone conclusion that Lucic was lashing out like a poorly behaved toddler and blaming someone else for the failures of his team and the inadequacy he feels for being unable to justify his albatross contract. But that was clearly an oversimplification. He is a man of multitudes.
We helped Lucic wrap up his statement by letting him give further insight into his mindset just before the hit on Joseph:
One time Milan minding own business in dumpster and two dogs set up fancy table in alley. Dogs start eating spaghetti and meatballs. Dogs start eating same piece of spaghetti and then dogs kiss. Milan think about dogs a lot. Sometimes me get sad about it.
Truly a baffling way to describe what was going on in his mind before he made one of the dirtiest plays in the NHL this season. One interpretation is that Lucic is unable to decipher the difference between the classic children’s Disney movie Lady and the Tramp and the reality of his own life.
The statement introduces some additional information for NHL to consider as it decides if Lucic should suffer any supplemental punishment. Initially, the situation appeared to be a clear cut example of the league needing to decide how serious they are about eliminating violence for the sake of violence from the game. For a league that claims to prioritize the safety of its players, eliminating this type of behavior would seem an obvious place to start.
But instead, the league must now consider that this is a unique case in that Lucic appears to be not just the classic NHL archetype of a low talent plug but a sort of cartoonish cro-magnon dumpster creature with a tenuous-at-best grip on reality. How the league handles this will be interesting to see given these new development and we here at Raw Charge will do our best to keep you updated on this swiftly evolving story.
*No, this isn’t real. C’mon. Y’all know the drill by now.