BOSTON (CBS) — One of the key plays in the Bruins’ incredible three-goal, third-period comeback against the Rangers last week was a seemingly forgettable moment. Milan Lucic chipped a puck deep behind the Rangers net and chased after it. Rick Nash skated toward the puck and stopped short of the end boards by a few feet. Lucic barreled through the big body of Nash, knocking the Rangers forward to the ice as the puck was sent around the boards. (Video of the hit can be seen by clicking here.)
Nash, visibly upset, then went after Lucic and ended up getting penalized for hooking. The Bruins scored their first goal one second after that power play expired. When the Bruins had climbed all the way back from that 3-0 hole, many people forgot completely about the Lucic hit.
But perhaps, Nash didn’t. And the New York Post’s Larry Brooks definitely didn’t.
Nash played two games after that overtime win in Boston, but he missed Tuesday night’s game against Montreal and won’t travel with the team to Ottawa for Thursday night’s game. Brooks wrote Wednesday that Nash’s undisclosed injury is probably a concussion, and Brooks also said that Lucic is the culprit.
“No one is saying whether No. 61 is suffering post-concussion symptoms,” Brooks wrote. “Perhaps more to the point, no one is saying he isn’t.”
Brooks argued that hits like Lucic’s are becoming common around the league, leading to injuries and, thus, “aesthetically displeasing” games, such as the Rangers’ 3-1 loss to Montreal on Tuesday. Brooks wrote that hits when “the attacking player finishes off his opponent with a forearm or elbow that drives his prey into the glass or boards” are becoming too common, using Lucic, Braden Schenn and P.K. Subban to prove his point.
Brooks reiterated his claim later in the day when he reported that Nash would be out Thursday night. He noted that no penalty was called on the play, and the league did not choose to punish Lucic.
“A blow to the head cleverly and maliciously disguised as finishing a check, and a wink and nod from the league,” Brooks wrote.