I feel that the one-game suspension handed down to Boston Bruins' forward Milan Lucic was appropriate and most people would consider the suspension a no-brainer.
Having said that I also think that the National Hockey League, had it wanted to, could have rationalized this one a little bit by saying that Maxim Lapierre, who was the victim, is an agitating player who often gets in opponents faces and was essentially ‘asking for it.'
As well the hit was not a premeditated or predatory act. It was Lucic, who was involved with Mathieu Schneider, and when he turned around, Lapierre was coming at him. You could make a case, if you wanted to, that Lucic was protecting himself.
If you break down the video and really look at it, you can see that it wasn't really a cross-check to the head, it was a glove to the head. The stick knocked the helmet off at the end.
At the end of the day I really think that the NHL thinks that temperatures are running pretty hot in these playoffs, and I believe the league did their own version of ‘sending a message.' And that message is ‘cool your jets boys or you're going to get suspended.'