Milan Lucic delivered a devastating strike to Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres. The blow shown in the video above left Ryan Miller concussed and out indefinitely. The Sabres will have to rely on backup Jhonas Enroth and recently promoted Drew MacIntyre. Lucic only received a minor penalty for the hit, but Sabres fans and others around the league are calling for much more.
- Should hits like this result in a suspension?
- Should the NHL institute rules that protect goalies from hits like these, much like the NFL protects Quarterbacks?
- Was this a “gutless” hit or just an example of hard, tough play?
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In Saturday’s Bruins-Sabres matchup, fans saw the Northeast division rivals play a hard-hitting (though lopsided) game. No hit in the game was harder than the one received by Ryan Miller. Wait? Ryan Miller? The goalie? Yes. In the first, Ryan Miller, in an attempt to take away the breakaway, was leveled by Boston winger Milan Lucic. The truly brutal hit sent Miller’s mask flying as he rag-dolled to the ice. After a brief skirmish between the two teams, Miller returned between the pipes for a bit longer before leaving the game in the second saving only 19 of 22.
The team revealed after the game that Miller did in fact suffer a concussion and would be out indefinitely. Miller (in a concussed haze, I’m sure) called the play “unbelievable” and “gutless,” but stopped short of suggesting any further discipline for Lucic. Buffalo coach, Lindy Ruff, suggested, “if it was open season on goalies, then let’s get at it.” Buffalo’s GM, Darcy Regier, and many others around the league are calling for Lucic’s suspension. It appears the league is willing at least entertain the thought and has called for a hearing this afternoon.
So what are your thoughts? Is this tough play or gutless? Should rules be enacted to protect goalies? If not, does that mean “open season” on goalies? How much does it cost for my goalie hunting license? Sound off in the comments.
UPDATE: Milan Lucic will not receive any further discipline for his hit on Miller. Brendan Shanahan, the Senior VP of Player Saftey for the NHL said, “while it is unfortunate that Miller was hurt, I saw nothing egregious about this hit that would elevate it to supplemental discipline.” Shanahan cited Lucic intent on the play and that Lucic did not have time to avoid a collision. Shanahan spoke with Lucic personally and said, “I was satifisfied with his answers.” There does not appear to be a time table for Miller’s return. The Sabres have confirmed he will not play tonight in Montreal.