Wednesday night was a pretty bad night for linesmen in the NHL. Dennis Wideman buried one from behind and may be in a significant amount of trouble, and Milan Lucic punched one in the face.
Despite being back on the ice following a one-game suspension for sucker-punching an opponent, Lucic certainly wasn’t shy about throwing the fists during the Kings’ matchup against the Avalanche on Wednesday night. During a first period scrap in front of the Colorado net, the Kings forward got into it with some Avs players and attempted to sock one of them with a jab.
Unfortunately, the punch just grazed the player’s face and then made contact with the linesman standing next to him. Luckily, there didn’t appear to be a whole lot of force behind the blow at the point of contact, and Lucic escaped without doing any damage or earning himself a penalty. He also immediately apologized.
Lucic has a reputation for being a bit of a loose cannon and a dirty player, so he’s probably lucky that the Wideman incident is dominating most of the buzz heading into the All-Star break. Otherwise, there’d likely be more of a focus on how he should probably stop punching so many people.
There are a lot of occupational hazards that come with being an on-ice official in the NHL, but getting cross-checked from behind and punched in the face aren’t typically ones that should be associated with the job. Just a really weird night in the NHL, I guess.