Trevor Lewis’ dribbler from the other side of centre ice was going to make it across the goal line to close out a win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
Milan Lucic made sure the empty-netter did just that.
As the Lewis wobbler inched its way closer and closer, Lucic — with every opportunity to tap it over the line himself — instead shielded Blackhawks backchecker Dominik Kubalik from getting a stick on it, preserving the goal for his teammate.
KIDS: How cool is this?
Check out Milan Lucic, a player hated on so much for his lack of numbers, deliberately let this puck go into the empty net so his teammate gets the goal.
This is what being a teammate is all about. pic.twitter.com/mkZM8otGnF
— The Hockey Think Tank (@HockeyThinkTank) November 24, 2021
“I was kind of a bit of a curler on that one, a sweeper or whatever, to make sure it was going in. I knew one of their guys was coming back,” Lucic said. “I saw it was going in, just wanted to make sure it was going in and just wanted to make sure it went in for him.”
The goal would’ve been Lucic’s second of the game and sixth in 20 games — putting him on a 25-goal pace over 82 games. Instead, it held up as Lewis’ second in Flames silks, officially as an unassisted goal.
And Flames fans were all about the gesture.
Still thinking about what Lucic did on the empty net goal last night
Amazing sign of leadership and the attitude needed to win the cup this year
— notBrad Treliving (@notTreliving) November 24, 2021
Lucic. Good guy. #Flames
— Kenzie Menzak (@KenzieMenzak) November 24, 2021
Loved the classy part of Lucic not stealing Lewis Goal
— Kenshin MacLeod (@KenshinMacLeod) November 24, 2021
Remember when Oilers fans thought having Lucic on their team was bad? Lol
— Adam (@TkachukYou) November 24, 2021
The move wasn’t lost on coach Darryl Sutter, either.
“Darn rights,” Sutter said. “It doesn’t bother them who scores or who doesn’t. It’s about winning. It just tells you about those guys that have won championships, too.”
As for Lewis’ reaction?
“He told me I should have put it in,” Lucic laughed.