BOSTON (CBS) — The TD Garden celebrated ’90s night on Monday during the Canadiens-Bruins game, with popular songs and memorable hockey highlights played throughout the evening.
As it turned out, Bruins winger Milan Lucic wanted to keep the ’90s theme going with some of his postgame trash talk, busting out the word “chicken” to describe Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin.
Lucic, who was upended with a low hip check from Emelin in the first period, was still upset about the hit after the game.
“Well I mean, whether it’s fair, legal or whatever you want to call it, if he wasn’t scared, he would stand up and hit me and not go after my knees,” Lucic said after the Canadiens won 2-1 in a shootout. “It just shows how big of a chicken he is that he needs to go down like that to take me down.”
Though the hit was clean in the sense that it was not a penalty, Lucic did not appreciate being taken out at the legs when a shoulder-to-shoulder hit might have been the norm. Hence, he hurled the safe-for-Nickelodeon insult at Emelin.
“It shows what kind of player he is, and on my end, you know you’ve got to keep your guard up at all times,” Lucic said.
It appeared as though Lucic later retaliated, using his stick to catch Emelin with a shot between the legs from behind, but Lucic denied any intent on the play.
“I was just skating by him and that’s all,” Lucic said. “People are trying to say I speared him. I did not spear him, so that’s it.”
Lucic-Emelin battles aside, the Bruins admitted that they let the Canadiens draw them into some undisciplined penalties. Captain Zdeno Chara was penalized immediately after the Emelin hit on Lucic for roughing, and in all the Bruins took six minor penalties — plus one Kevan Miller fighting major — in the loss that snapped a 12-game winning streak.
“I think we were a little undisciplined in the early half of the game, and we took some penalties that we probably shouldn’t have. We got emotional,” said Brad Marchand, who was penalized for high-sticking P.K. Subban in the second period. “It’s an emotional game any time we play them. They know that and they poke at us a bit and try to get us to take penalties and push them back. It worked a little bit tonight.
“At times, absolutely,” head coach Claude Julien said when asked if his team had lapses of discipline. “The Marchand penalty was frustration because he got tripped on the faceoff before and it wasn’t called. But those are things that are going to happen in a game, and you can’t retaliate by taking a bad penalty. [Johnny] Boychuk’s penalty [for taking down Subban] was a bad one. … I think we have to be better disciplined against them.”
Lucic, who’s played in three dozen regular-season games against Montreal as well as 18 postseason games, remained a bit mystified as to how or why the Canadiens always seem to find a way to crawl under the Bruins’ skin.
“It’s tough to say,” Lucic said. “I’ve been here for a long time, and it’s almost been the same question for the last seven years, so I don’t have a real answer for you.”