Friday, February 27, 2009

Did Lucic Violate "The Code"?

From last night's 6-0 romp over the Ducks:

The obvious question is whether Lucic violated "The Code" by continuing to punch Mike Brown after he fell to the ice.

The pro-Lucic argument:
Moral and legal codes only work when everyone agrees to follow them. For example, nobody faults Darren McCarty for pummeling Turtle Lemieux even though he was in a defenseless position, because The Code allows for that kind of eye-for-an-eye retaliation.

Lucic made a legit play on the puck and got "the business" from three different Ducks for no obvious reason, which in itself is a violation of The Code. Furthermore, Brown dropped his gloves and punched Looch in the face without provocation -- even drawing the extra 2+10 for instigating. Therefore, Lucic was under no obligation to give Brown an easy-out once he slipped.

The anti-Lucic argument:
Even though Brown carries himself as a pugilist, he gives up 4 inches to Lucic and is clearly in a lower class of fighter (he has an unimpressive record against lesser opponents). Despite the initial shot to Lucic, it's not as though he jumped anyone from behind or made a truly dangerous play.

One or two shots after a player falls isn't that unusual, but it was obvious that Lucic intended to pound Brown until someone (Wade Brookbank, as it turned out) got in between the two. Of the two players involved, Lucic was the more likely to end up causing a serious injury or ugly brawl. That's a larger violation of The Code than a glove-punch.

My take:
Even though Brown's punch didn't cause serious damage, remember that Lucic spent the end of last season recovering from a broken nose... and taking a constant barrage of cheap-shots to the face during that time. No big surprise that he saw red when Brown sucker-punched him without obvious provocation. Regardless of other considerations, no normal person would be completely under control after being jabbed right in the honker. The Code allows for a certain level of retaliation under those circumstances, and Lucic didn't seem to go over the top by throwing a couple of "makeup" punches after Brown fell. I'm giving Looch the benefit of the doubt on this one.

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The Bastahd said...

Agreed about giving Milan the benefit of the doubt here... he has followed the code to this point of his career that I have seen. Brown certainly did himself no favors by whacking away at Lucic in front of the net and then popping him before they had actually squared off. I was upset at first until I saw the replay and then could understand.

I was more upset by the Neidermeyer situation with Savard... he just went after Marc with absolutely no justification. Just whacking away at him while they were both standing at the blue line. How could Savard NOT fight back after being attacked as he was... no way matching penalties were merited there.

Tom said...

Ever hear an explanation as to what was going on between Nidermayer and Savard? It seemed to come out of nowhere... especially between those two guys...