The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/19/14 at 12:24 AM ET
Despite my protestations to the contrary, I was pretty dang happy with the Red Wings' 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Friday, and I was also pretty dang happy with the fact that the Wings did not react to the Bruins' "truculence," including this gem from Milan Lucic:
As Mike Babcock told Fox Sports Detroit's Trevor Thompson when asked whether the play should be reviewed: "That's what the league does."
The rest of the league takes notice, however, and Boston.com's Bruins Blog's Jerard Fagerberg has become a figure of some reknown for suggesting that Lucic's play was simply part of "playoff hockey":
Granted, it wasn't fair for Looch to mortgage DeKeyser's future kids to gain the mental edge but, especially when you're playing a team as composed and systemic as Detroit, getting in the other team's head is a game-changing intangible.
Goading. Antagonization. Retaliation. These are all aspects of the game that get amplified when you're playing the same guys night in and night out. Call it cheap. Call it troglodyte gutter politics, but the fact is that, when you're in the hunt, tempers run hot, and there's no such thing as a short memory.
Detroit, which finished dead last in the league with only nine major penalties in 2013-14, is one of the most disciplined teams in the NHL. Their success hinges on it. When they lose their composure, they fall apart - which was something that the Chicago Blackhawks discovered and exploited in the Western Conference Quarterfinals last year. They flipped the turtle on its back, and it put their series in their hands.
And that's what it'll take for the Bruins to get past the Red Wings in this series.
Lucic doesn't exactly have a Lady Byng reputation, but giving someone the business when the ref is up ice is all in the game. One thing is for sure - DeKeyser will be playing with his head on a swivel when No. 17 is on the ice, and that's an important advantage when your team is struggling to find the score sheet.
I'll refrain comment. All I'm gonna say is that the league will review it, that DeKeyser's fine and that the Wings won the game. The rest of this stuff isn't what the Wings preoccupy themselves with, and I respect that philosophy...
But there is no doubt that the Bruins' personnel reflects a different point of view.
Update: For what it's worth, TSN's Aaron Ward feels that Lucic and Perry's spears were poor, but Bob McKenzie notes that the NHL has not fined or suspended Lucic for previous infractions.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.