Last night, Boston Bruins tough guy Milan Lucic ran over the Sabres All-World goalie Ryan Miller during the first period of last night's game between the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres.
If you watch the video again you can see that Lucic does have a hard time hiding his glee on the way to the Boston Bruins penalty box. Like NESN analyst Andy Brickley said after the hit, "as a player this is a penalty you don't mind killing." If you haven't seen this, here is the link to the Buffalo Sabres television crew's call of the Lucic hit on Miller. [Click to watch]
After watching Miller's reaction to the Lucic's hit, which is considered a bush league move by many in the NHL, I have to think that the hit might have been a game changing moment, some might consider the hit a smart move. After the Lucic ran over Miller, the Bruins then steam rolled the Sabres on the score card as well.
Let’s not forget the Boston Bruins were very effective last season when they brutalized and pulverized their opponents and used those tactics to skate to away with the Stanley Cup championship. Miller would later leave the game with an upper body injury.
The more puzzling fact was that no one on the Buffalo Sabres challenged Lucic to a fight for his hit on the Sabre goalie. That is unacceptable for an NHL hockey team, the Sabres sent the message that basically said that it's O.K. to run over our goaltender.
The Sabres did not come to Miller's defense following the hit, other than a couple of shoves by Thomas Vanek and Andrej Sekera. Was it the response they needed?According to ESPN it has been confirmed that Ryan Miller has suffered a concussion from the hit. In addition, the General Manager of the Buffalo Sabres Darcy Regier thinks that there should be some additional disciplinary action for Lucic's hit on Miller.
"No, no it wasn't," said center Paul Gaustad, who was on the ice along with Vanek, Sekera, Tyler Myers and Jason Pominville. "I can do more. I'm embarrassed that we didn't respond the way we should have. It falls on myself. I look at myself first, and I wasn't good enough. [John Vogl, Buffalo News]
Regier also told the Buffalo News that he felt the play deserved a suspension from the league.If Lucic running over Ryan Miller is deserving of suspension from the NHL, then I think that Millers attempted and missed chop with his carbon fiber goalie stick at Milan Lucic is worthy of some consideration as well. Can you imagine if Miller had connected with Lucic? Yikes! That would have been an ugly incident.
"If this hit and other types of hits like this are not suspended, we are opening up the possibility of losing goaltenders to injury," Regier told the Buffalo News. "And not just injury, but concussion. ... When I look at the position of goaltending, in a lot of ways it's not unlike quarterback in football. I feel very strongly the protection has to be provided and players committing these types of action should be punished. [Mike Harrington, Buffalo News]
According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, Milan Lucic has a 1 pm ET hearing tomorrow with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. If Shanahan doesn't suspend Lucic, we will hear the fans with the tin foil hats whine and complain about how the NHL favors the Bruins because Colin Campbell's son plays for the Bruins.
Apparently some in in the media are less than impressed with the Lucic hit on Miller. Dave Stubbs, The Gazette had this to say about the Lucic hit. Just a little disclosure, Stubbs is a sports writer for a Montreal newspaper so his opinion is going to be slanted towards the Canadians perspective, you know the Bruins are a bunch of knuckle dragging Nethanderals.
The two lunkheads on the Hockey Night in Canada panel, both former Boston Bruins, thought it was fine. So surely it was a clean hockey play, right?Steve Kendall, from the Hockey Writers wasn't very amused with the Lucic hit either, now from reading some of his work, it appears that Kendall is also not a big fan of Lucic or his style of play, or that is what I gleaned from perusing some of his articles, this is also the same guy that suggested that the Bruins trade Milan Lucic.
Heaven help you if you shape your opinions based on the moronic blathering of these two attention-craving doorknobs, who took time out from their combined 2,313 NHL penalty minutes to score 59 goals.
Bruins forward Milan Lucic’s concussing of Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller on Saturday in Boston was deemed to be a two-minute penalty. But the open-ice hit was high, cheap, late, dangerous, entirely avoidable and was in absolute violation of the spirit of hockey.
The check again revealed the dishonest play of Lucic and, in failing to lift a finger in defence of their franchise goalie, the turtling of the Sabres as a whole.
In my opinion, anyone who defends Lucic’s hit is dead wrong, as it was yet another in a long line of bad decisions/cheap shots in Lucic’s recent career.Lastly, the
Saturday’s hit was not only uncalled for, it was downright dirty. Lucic had plenty of time to avoid the hit, which is shown below, and broke both an unwritten code of the game and a long-standing rule that players do not purposefully target a goaltender who is out of his crease.
The fact that the perpetrator in this collision is Milan Lucic has the pundits and haters foaming at the mouth. If this had been Matt Cooke or Alex Burrows I would be foaming at the mouth as well.
While I think Brendan Shanahan for the most part has done a pretty good job as the head of Player Safety; I think in some instances Shanny has also been a little heavy handed on some of his suspensions, chalk it up as learning on the job. It will be interesting to see if Lucic gets fined or suspended.