Stop me if you have heard this one before: Ryan Miller got absolutely trucked. Could there be anything more frustrating? After missing 8 games becasue of a concussion (that MAY have been caused by Milan Lucic) , he returns to get run over by Jordin Tootoo.

So which one was “worse”? Lets start with the Tootoo hit:

Before we even get to the hit, you gotta love Miller’s “enough is enough” reaction. It’s not often that a goalie takes matters into his own hands and it’s fun to see. Twitter exploded and the word “suspended” was in pretty much every tweet. Here is my question: Where was Tootoo supposed to go? He was driving to the net with the puck (something Glenn Anderson made a HOF career doing ) , and he had no room to avoid Miller. He was literally between a rock (the post) , and a hard place (Christian Ehrhoff). The “jump” is what makes this hit look so bad, but it wasn’t a jump at all. His feet leave the ice after he collides with Miller. If you were about to collide with someone, do you not brace yourself?
I’m not saying that Tootoo was without fault here: a goalie’s crease is a goalie’s crease and he entered it. But to suspend someone for driving to the net for a scoring opportunity is ridiculous. I know a lot of people will scream something like “It’s Jodin Tootoo, he has a history of dirty hits”, well, you are right. This is goalie interference for sure, but was he trying to hurt Miller and does he deserve a suspension? In my opinion no. Remember, this is a very fast game and momentum is a very big factor here. And please don’t throw the “he didn’t have the puck” argument at me, he lost it less than a second before the collision. Slow motion seconds are not the same as regular game play time.

Ok…how about Lucic

Now this one is different. Remember when looking at the Tootoo hit I asked “where was he supposed to go”, well Lucic had an absolute TON of room to escape. He went out of his way to hit Miller. For years I have endorsed the idea that if a goalie comes that far out of his crease he should be open game, but until my wish gets granted, you simply can’t do that. The only thing comparable with these two hits is the fact that they were both on Ryan Miller. Brenden Shanahan decided not to suspend Lucic for his hit, which in my opinion means Tootoo shouldn’t be banned for his.

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Lets head to the Links

Really? Rats again in Florida? The only thing that could stop it is a Uwe Krupp overtime goal (Pro Hockey Talk)

You know a brawl is out of hand when the riot police are called in (Puck Daddy)

Ok, its that time of the year when players turn into politicians and try get votes for the All Star game (Dirty Dangle)

Ron Wilson pulled a Jim Carey in Liar Liar impression this weekend (well, the Jim Carey before his son made a birthday wish that caused him to re-evaluate his lie filled life and become a better person inside. Clutch movie) (Globe and mail)

Could the HBO spotlight slow down the Rangers? (New York Post)

Speaking of the Rangers, Blueshirt Banter breaks down their scoring chances in November

The Ducks are now 0-2 under Bruce Boudreau, and Jonas Hiller is not happy about it (The OC Register)

A big topic that will be discussed at the Board of Governors meetings: Realignment (Toronto Sun)

A very interesting read about the late Derek Boogaard (New York Times)

and since we already have two vids in this post with Ryan Miller, we might as well make it a hat trick

Comments (13)

  1. So umm, didn’t Miller himself come out and say he never suffered a concussion, just had neck stiffness? Might want to do your due diligence and a little research before posting.

  2. First off good job Piz I liked the article and I understand the argument, but my problem with this series of hits is this. It looks to me that Tootoo just didn’t try anything to stop running through a goalie in his crease; no matter the position, situation, whatever, you cannot do that (in my opinion). The whole argument with the Lucic one was that ‘ohh well you know he’s out of his crease’ but now with the Tootoo one it’s that ‘oh well you know, Tootoo couldn’t go anywhere it isn’t his fault’ well guess what, there’s an area behind the net that wasn’t too out of his reach if he shot earlier and went behind. He could’ve tried at least slowing down and bracing himself instead of just skating through with relative ease. I don’t think it’s a dirty hit, but I just don’t see why we make excuses for these guys, he deliberately ran through a goalie in his crease which is something you don’t do (or at least shouldn’t) where as before it was because he was out of it, so what is it? If the guy has a defender on him he can run through the goalie? If he’s out of the crease he can? If he has a scoring chance can he run over the goalie like in baseball (catcher but same idea)? I just don’t understand this slew of excuses for hitting a goalie.

  3. I’m a Sabres fan and I also have less of an issue with Tootoo’s hit than I do Lucic’s.

    But, Tootoo’s reputation precedes him. If Patrick Kaleta makes that same play on Reimer right now, the same type of response is happening.

    But, as a goalie, I hate whenever a guy with the puck tries to drive the front of the net when a defenseman is riding him. Any player in that spot, Tootoo or otherwise, when they know that they can’t cut through above the crease, and will be running through the goalie in the crease on a jam play, SHOULD take the puck behind the net. Heck, they might get an east wraparound if they cut tight to the net and the d-man slams in to their own goalie.

    I just think it’s BS that a forward can drive through the goalie under the guise of “going to the net”.

    Ehrhoff also did something that I can’t stand as a goalie and that is when a defender pushes an opposing play into their own goalie. What is that?

    • Forwards are not going to stop driving the net. It scores goals and almost never results in penalties. D-men push the guy because its all they have left at that point. Gotta try to mess up his shot somehow.

  4. If you want to stop guys crashing through goalies when they are in their crease, put the steel pegs back in and see just how long it takes for the forwards to realize that the net isn’t going anywhere. Something tells me the self-preservation instinct will take over rather than the “oh look Mr. Zebra, I *tried* to miss the goalie” instinct that we have now.

  5. I am willing to bet you that this will ‘spark’ Miller’s season and he will be phenomenal. Miller will take his aggression out by doing what he does best, putting up amazing performances between the pipes. Just a thought, I guess we will see how it pans out…

  6. Tootoo hit was nothing, tell Miller to suck it up and play hockey. The Lucic hit was uncalled for for sure but I totally agree that if the goalie is out of the blue he should be allowed to be hit just like the rest of the players. (you may need to deal with the rest of the team attacking you after , but that’s another story) As for the third video of Millers save. The save is amazing but why didn’t anyone notice the cross-check from behind that Tootoo gets after the save? Looks like his neck just about breaks? I think the NHL needs to chill out and let the game play. Seems that once there is an issue with something, the NHL is so concentrated on the idea they miss more important things and players end up getting suspensions for lesser incidents just because its the hot topic of the month ya know? My 2cents.

    • So you’re saying that even though Lucic was worse and he should be allowed to be hit outside of the crease, he can be hit while in the crease too?

  7. Couldn’t agree with you more on the Miller collisions. Lucic should have been suspended for his hit…no question. The league should have sent a message to the players saying that goalies will be protected. Tootoo was driving to the net hard and was bumped into Miller. It didn’t look like he wanted to take Miller’s head off (unlike Lucic).
    Goalies should not be fair game if they leave the crease…EVER. Strap on the pads once and you’ll have all the sympathy in the world for the toughest position in sports. .

  8. If Tootoo is suspended and Lucic was not. Does that mean that there really is 2 book for rules. One for 29 teams and 1 for the Bruins? Is Jeremy Jacobs pulling his string so hard on Bettman?

  9. If Tootoo gets suspended its because he is Jordin Tootoo. Lucic’s hit was more suspension worthy for the reasons mentioned in the article, but Boston does seem to be allowed to do whatever they please without consequence. I’m sure the “fair minded” Boston fans will descend to flame me. It’s not their fault their perspective is so warped. Their NESN broadcast team is so hopelessly biased that they just think experts agree with them. Every fan sees the game through a skewed perspective based on their loyalties, I just think the Boston fans take it to a new level.

  10. Lucic’s was a dick move, and that’s undeniable (even though I’m a Bruins fan and generally love the guy)… but it’s too bad you completely disregarded the fact that (a) Lucic was barrelling after the puck and had his head down until he was about 5 feet from Miller, so i wasn’t premeditated and (b) Miller didn’t do squat to get out of the way any more than Lucic moved to get INTO his way.

    Also why did you leave out that Miller isn’t even sure he really had a concussion anymore? I’m amazed at how little press that statement of his got.

    Overall I think Tootoo’s hit was more premeditated, but less dangerous… so who knows where those chips are going to fall. Lucic made a split-second decision, Tootoo let himself be carried into the goalie (“OMG OOPS I HAD NOWHERE TO GO” style). It all depends on what Shanahan intends on punishing: intent or the act itself.

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