As you all know, I’m not a huge fan of forced fights after clean hits. I understand the negative response to Milan Lucic going after Calgary Flames defenceman Deryk Engelland after his contact with Edmonton Oilers franchise Connor McDavid.
But this wasn’t a clean hit. In fast motion it looks like thousands of other plays, but the final push into the boards is very late.
After McDavid shoots the puck he falls down. He’s sliding toward the post at that point and would have gone in a straight line past the net had he continued. Instead, he actually gets back on his feet. Again, this was after he shot the puck. That’s when Engelland gives him the extra,dangerous non-hockey play push. McDavid goes down a second time and changes direction from the force of the push, going more towards the corner. My slow motion clip makes the change of sliding direction easier to see, and clearly shows it happened well after the puck was already released.
That’s why Lucic was so upset, and that’s why I think this fight was a great idea by the veteran Oilers newcomer.