It didn’t take power forward Milan Lucic long to get full-on involved in the heated Kings-Sharks rivalry.
He received a match penalty in the final minutes of the Kings’ 5-1 season-opening loss on Wednesday night to the Sharks, having retaliated against Logan Couture’s hit.
“I didn’t think there was players that you’re not allowed to hit in the league,” Couture said afterward.
Lucic said one of his new Kings teammates told him later what Couture said to reporters. Then Lucic had plenty to more to say on Thursday after Kings practice at their facility in El Segundo.
“I didn’t like the play. I didn’t appreciate the play,” Lucic said. “His comments, saying, ‘I didn’t know some players weren’t allowed to be hit.’ I have no idea why he would say that about me.
“I get hit as much as I hit. That’s a dumb comment on his part. Whatever, it just adds fuel to the fire for the upcoming games.”
Lucic said he had not been contacted by the league. All indications were that he would not be facing additional discipline.
His reputation resulted in the match penalty, Lucic surmised.
“I think that’s why I got a match [penalty], it’s just because of who I am,” Lucic said. “If I would have made that hit and someone came after me the same way, he wouldn’t have got a match. It just comes with who you are.
“They review all that stuff and there’s nothing that’s come of it. Like I said last night, I didn’t cross any line. Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.
“It’s like a schoolyard or anything. You’ve got to stand up for yourself when the time is right. If this was 10 years ago and a play like that happened and it was 5-1, it would be a lot messier.