Stanley Cup Finals: Was Milan Lucic out of Line in Taunting Alexandre Burrows?

Andrew EideCorrespondent IJune 7, 2011

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 06:  Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins taunts Alex Burrows #14 of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Three of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Bite-gate just won’t go away.  In the third period of Boston’s dominating 8-1 Game 3 win against Vancouver, Milan Lucic got into a scrum with Alex Burrows and tried to stick his hand in Burrows face to remind him of the bite. 

Is there such thing as a bite that was heard around the world? 

The bite that launched a thousand taunts? 

Whatever you want to call it, the bite-gate is getting out of control.  First Vancouver’s Max Lapierre decided to have fun with Patrice Bergeron in Game 2 by putting his glove in Bergeron’s face.   

That act of tomfoolery was called classless and all kinds of things by Bruins coach Claude Julien, who vowed his boys were above such acts. 

Well, it appears not all the Bruins got the message.  Mark Recchi was seen giving Lapierre the glove in Game 3 and then finally the more high-profile incident with Lucic and Burrows. 

Was Lucic over the line? 

The answer is a bit murky. 

Clearly, Lapierre and the Canucks opened this can of worms in the first place and everyone thought it would be long forgotten as the series progressed. 

Burrows, and Lapierre are grade-A pests, the type of player you love when they are wearing your sweater and hate with a burning fire when they are the opponent. 

They certainly bring on this kind of stuff. 

It’s also easy to see how Lucic got swept up into bite-gate.  He was in a scrum with Burrows, behind the net, just like in Game 1.  While some may argue that the stick to Burrows' groin and the punch to the back of his head were over the line, the hand in the face probably wasn’t.

Immature yes, but not over the line. 

Except maybe that Lucic showed up his coach who had publicly admonished such acts. 

Lucic is a young and emotional player and those emotions and the moment got the best of him.  To his credit he called his actions “classless” after the game and indicated he got an earful from his coach. 

He earned that lecture, too.  While not over the line, his actions with his team up big show the same lack of class that the Bruins, the media and their fans were complaining the Canucks excelled at. 

Right or wrong, if you believe that you should hold yourself to a higher standard. 

Game 3 got ugly pretty quickly and with all eyes on the series it will be interesting to see how the remaining games are officiated. 

The League has weighed in on the subject today announcing that the next player to put their mitt in someone’s mouth was going to get a two-minute minor and a 10-minute misconduct. 

So, safe to say we can finally put bite-gate to rest. 

This incident may not paint Milan Lucic in the best light, but as the series is now heating up, it most likely will be forgotten in a week or so when one of the teams is hoisting the cup.


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