Every now and again non Oilers related highlights make their way onto the non HD television screen at Wanye Manor. Sometimes we even have an opinion on the matter. Other times we can’t make up our mind on what we think. This hit on Ryan Miller falls squarely in category two.
During the first period on Saturday, Milan Lucic ran over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who had come out of his net to play the puck. Lucic was given a two minute penalty for charging. Miller has a concussion and has temporarily handed the reins over to backup Jhonas Enroth against the Habs Monday night.
And now news today that there will be no suspension or fine for Lucic.
"I had the hearing because I did make an initial assessment of the play as I do with all plays, but I did have some questions for Milan and I wanted to hear directly from him," Shanahan told NHL.com. "They were regarding his intent; at what point did he know there was going to be a collision; and whether or not he felt he had the time to avoid the collision."
The hit was certainly spectacular, with Miller being knocked to the ice and losing his goalie bucket in the process. His injury is certainly real too, with a concussion keeping him on the shelf for an unknown period of time. He wasn’t hamming it up to draw a penalty.
But does this play represent a dirty hit? Or should goalies stay in their nets where it is safe?
TRAIN OF THOUGHT ONE – DIRTY POOL
There is one train of thought that suggests the hit on Miller was dirty as all hell. "Goalies shouldn’t be a part of the physical play" the thinking goes, "on account of their big pads, fragile state and the fact they rarely get skating very quickly and thus lose out in the physics of a play such as this." Or they think that the player has a responsibility to let up on a hit such as this, owing to the fact that it isn’t a hulking D they are going up against.
We can totally see the validity of this thinking. If Jordan Eberle was a goalie and Milan Lucic harmed so much as a hair on his precious head we would be out on the mean streets of Edmonton within minutes looking for revenge. Even if the play happened on the road in Boston, that’s how upset we would be.
TRAIN OF THOUGHT TWO – FAIR PLAY
There is a second group that consider this hit on Miller a fair play. "If goalies don’t like getting steamrolled they shouldn’t be out playing the puck. Stay in your net where it is safe goalie-man" these people say. Plays like this one are unfortunate but are more an exception to the rule than the norm.
"If goalies aren’t fair game when they leave the ice, next thing you know Martin Brodeur will be skating all over the ice in Jersey, manning the point on the PP and there ain’t a damn thing we will be able to do about it if he can’t be hit."
Its a tough call – so we figured we would put it to a poll. Heck, the Oil aren’t playing again until some time in 2014 so we might as well pass the time.
Does this hit deserve a suspension?