It was understandable for the Boston Bruins to be upset about their premature and lackluster playoff exit at the hands of the rival Montreal Canadiens. That said, it was no excuse to handle it like an immature brat.
Apparently, nobody relayed this message to Bruins winger Milan Lucic.
During the final handshake line, which is typically a traditional showing of respect towards your opponent at the end of a grueling playoff series, Lucic instead decided to thrown down some threats to a few Canadiens players. He could be seen visibly jawing at Dale Weise and Alexei Emelin, and though the camera angle made it a little difficult to make out what he was saying, Aaron Ward of TSN appears to have figured it out.
According to Ward, Lucic told Weise, “I’m going to [bleeping] kill you next year.” When asked about his comments in the locker room, Lucic refused to tell reporters what was said, instead calling Weise a “baby.”
It is unconfirmed as to whether or not Lucic also threatened to take Weise’s lunch money. Additionally, he could not be seen attempting to give Emelin a wedgie at any point during the handshake line.
Seriously, though, this is ridiculous. I get that Lucic’s game is focused on physicality and toughness, but there’s a difference between being hard-hitting on the ice and acting like some juvenile schoolyard bully. Threatening a player during a handshake line isn’t showing how intimidating you are, it just makes you look like a sore loser.
The Bruins and Canadiens hate each other. I completely understand this, and that Boston losing to them isn’t exactly going to put them in the best of moods. Still, go through the line, shake hands, storm off and take your frustrations out in the locker room. Issuing out death sentences is just plain stupid, and following it up by calling people babies doesn’t make it any better.
Maybe, instead of trying to scare Weise, Lucic should be wondering why he got outscored in the series by somebody who’s only scored 13 goals in three years. Perhaps Lucic should’ve put less focus in flexing at P.K. Subban and more into hitting the open nets he came across this whole series. Something tells me this might have had a more lasting effect than his tough guy antics during post-game handshakes.
There are better ways to intimidate a rival than throwing down threats when you’re supposed to be respecting them for smoking you out of the postseason. Be physical on the ice, hit hard, throw your body around and just make your opponent cringe in fear any time you come over the boards. It’s something Lucic has shown an ability to do throughout his career.
Believe me, though, nobody in the Montreal locker room is shaking in their boots because big, bad Lucic just threatened to take them out next year. Instead, the Canadiens are laughing at him. And they’re doing so while they prepare for the Eastern Conference finals. While they get a chance to keep playing for the Stanley Cup the Bruins were picked by many to win this year.
So keep being tough, Lucic. Keep calling Montreal babies for making your handshake threats come off as petulant. They really don’t care that you’ll be waiting for them in the parking lot at recess.