“I was braking”: Flames' Lucic says he wasn't trying to hit Smith on charging major

May 23 2022, 9:09 pm

Milan Lucic will be an option for the Calgary Flames in Game 4 after he escaped any supplemental discipline for the hit he landed on Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith in Game 3. 

Emily Kaplan of ESPN reported earlier Monday that Lucic wouldn’t face additional punishment on the play, which saw him ejected after a major penalty for charging in Sunday’s 4-1 loss.

“I definitely wasn’t trying to hit him,” Lucic said Monday. “I was braking. Yeah. I think the main thing is…I don’t think I really want to get into what I was thinking or what I was trying to do or if he sold it or if he didn’t a little bit. 

“I think I agree with Darryl (Sutter) in the sense that if I actually did charge, we both wouldn’t be playing tomorrow.

“So yes…maturity. Yes.”

Sutter questioned the penalty assessed to his 6’3″, 231-pound forward postgame. 

“They called it charging, correct?” Sutter said postgame. 

“Could you imagine if Looch did charge, what would have happened there? He actually tried to slow it down a little bit, I think. It is what it is. It was the score and who it was. That’s what they called.”

Lucic’s hit came with the Flames trailing 4-0 with just under a dozen minutes remaining in Game 3. Smith left his net to play the puck, and a forechecking Lucic clipped the netminder, sending his helmet flying and engaging all 10 skaters on the ice into a frenzy. 

“I don’t really know what happened, to be honest,” Smith detailed postgame. “I was out playing the puck and then all of a sudden I am getting buried into the boards. There aren’t that many goalies in the league and when you are getting run through the end wall and you are not expecting it, it is not an ideal situation. 

“It is what it is. It is the playoffs and they are trying to rattle you. But the refs handled it and you move on.”

In all, Lucic was tossed five and a game, and six other players were given roughing minors. 

“It was a play out of frustration, running our goalie,” Oilers forward Evander Kane said. “Smitty is a great puck-handler and he comes out of the net a lot. The refs made the right call.”

Game 4 goes Tuesday at Rogers Place. Puck drop is 7:30 pm MT. 

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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