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.

Says TSN:

"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 "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?


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.



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?

  • I think that they should use football’s punters as an analogous situation.

    In the crease, goalies get full protection.

    Out of the crease, if there is a charge for a puck between the goalie and an opposing player, if the opposing player touches or takes control of the puck before the goalie, the goalie is fair game to get run over (but no head shots). If the goalie touches or takes control of the puck first, then penalize the opposing player if he makes any contact on the goalie (minor if it is incidental and/or he attempted to avoid the goalie; major if the contact is substantial or no effort is made to avoid the goalie).

    Head shots become automatic suspensions and major penalties get reviewed.

  • Oilphins

    To me, this hit was legal. Miller knew Lucic had a great deal of momentum built up when he decided to race out and play the puck. If he was concerned with getting hit he could have stayed in his crease and face Lucic on a breakaway.

    Regheir can complain and liken this to a quarterback in football being protected all he wants, the fact of the matter is a quarterback has the choice to slide or take a hit, much like Miller had the choice to cover the puck or take a hit.

  • Bandwagon jumper

    I intially loved the way Shanahan was handling the hits to the head. But as the season has progressed, his decisions are questionable. Especially with cases like this one.

    Lucic made no effort whatsoever to miss (or minimize) the collision with Millar and in fact exacerbated the collision by driving through the check (aimed at Millar’s head to boot).

    Shame on Shanahan…..

  • Ninjafoot

    I have always hated how goalies wander around like they are 10 foot tall and bulletproof when they go out to handle the puck, and then cry when they actually get bumped from time to time.
    I think Lucic could probably have avoided most of the hit, but should he have to?
    Based on the rules as they are I was okay with just 2 minutes, and no suspension, though I agree that is probably lenient given some of the other suspensions handed out this season.
    Overall, add my voice to the crowd that says “stay in the blue paint if you don’t want to get hit”.
    Goalies have the option to be protected like no one else on the ice.
    If they choose to give that protection up to go for a quick skate or to try and set a pick they should be treated like everyone else.
    Run a few goalies over in open ice and see how much more often they stay where they belong.

  • I think if the NHL invested on goalies taking some BJJ Brazilian jiu jitsu classes Miller could’ve countered/converted that hit to a flying
    Armbar, guillotine choke or even an arm triangle but that’s just my opinion, who am I to judge.

    I’ve always liked Lucic and am still hoping one day he plays for the oilers.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Violence good, suspensions bad.

    No big deal, he hit Miller more or less from the side, the rear portion of the shoulder. The head wasn’t targeted and a hit like this every once in a while will keep the goalies honest.

    Somebody has to be stirring the pot on a nightly basis, who better than Milan. The Oilers need a ship disturber like that, we could use more passion on this hockey club, its been far too long since the last suspension.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Give Ben some time. He still looks as though he’s not 100%.

        He’s not a Hemsky,Hall or Eberle where the Oilers will tend to error on the side of caution. Bottom 6 forwards are probably treated differently than some of the finess players are, i can see that it may be possible he came back a couple weeks early.

        Next Sept at training camp i think we’ll see Eager catching Tulupov off gaurd by accident.

    • Ninjafoot

      I agree with you amigo. Eager is playing well and has been getting decent amount of scoring chances and now he thinks he’s stamkos and doesn’t want to throw big hits or drop the mitts. I can’t wait til hordichuk that guy cos he knows his role and he does it well….. Destroy opposing team

      • Quicksilver ballet

        The Oilers have been a very similar team to the Sabres in the physicallity department. For many years they’ve taken it and turned the other cheek like the Sabres did on this incident.

        It’s good to see the Oilers getting into that shoot first and ask questions later frame of mind. Hordichuk can’t get back soon enough.

  • StrangePhD

    My thoughts when watching the replays were that a) Lucic was skating hard after a loose puck, b) Miller played the puck before Lucic got there and c) Lucic followed through and collided with Miller (his hands being raised seemed to be less about “hitting” Miller and more about bracing for a collision…god knows I wouldn’t fly into a well-armoured opponent face-first). Yes, Lucic should have tried to avoid the collision as goalies are off-limits (rightly or wrongly), but he did not and was penalized for it on the ice. Now, maybe that should have been a 5 minute major or a game misconduct, but it wasn’t and supplemental discipline is not intended to correct a missed/wrong call on the ice. Lucic charged Miller and took a penalty for it. No suspension necessary.

  • A lot of people seem to be acting as if Miller wasn’t 30 feet away from the net.
    Yeah, Lucic definitely could have avoided crushing Miller, or at the very least not steamroll him like that, but it’s not like he charged from his own end and tried to run Miller into the net and the net through the boards.

    He got a penalty on the play and that should be all that needs to be done (outside of, you know, Buffalo doing something other than just standing around staring at him after).

    The way that everyone stands around and screams for a suspension on every, single, play is absolutely ridiculous. Hockey is a violent sport. Guys are going to get hit.

    Has it been that long since players took it upon themselves to protect each other?

  • John Chambers

    What is it about the NE Division? They have the best rivalries.

    Remember Alfredsson mocking Sundin for chucking his stick in the crowd? Remember Ray Emery fighting Miller and then fighting Alberts? Last year Chara destroying Pacioretty and the goal- and fight-fest the Habs and Bruins had? And now this!

    I demand that Taylor Hall run over Luongo like a freight train next game. The precedent has been set that there won’t be a suspension, and then we can sick Eager on the Canucks.

    The Oilers should really be modeling themselves after the Bruins. They’re mean, they’re badass, and you can bet nobody wants to play them.

    • I was just looking at the standings last night and thought “man that NE division is some kind of awesome. Every team in that division hates every other team with the passion of 1000 suns!”

      We’ll get there eventually, especially as we pass the Canucks on our way to Stanley Cup glory, and the Flames continue to wallow in mediocrity for the rest of time.

      *and the reason I responded was mostly to correct you; it was Biron and Peters that Emery fought. What a game that was!*

  • Oilers Coffey

    The Big Bad Boston Bruins, with a cocky mouthed Seguin. I despise their team now they are not facing the Canucks ( ABC)

    The reason for the despise, they are a good team that steam rolls over their opponents at will, and no one pushes them back.

    I thought that’s what Eagers roll was supposed to be??? Big guy, mean, streak, unpredictable and can pot a few, where is that guy? I can’t wait for Hordi to get healthy again, our guys have been pushed around on the eastern swing far too much, with NO ONE willing to push back!

    ONE Reason Messier was good, he created his own space. Like Strudwick pointed out maybe our guys need to start giving a checker a mouthful of composite to earn their own room?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Barker is out for at least a month. I think its time to try and make something happen on the trade front. We should be trying to get Franson from the Leafs.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    @ Oilers4SAlberta

    Did HORDY just hear a who?? I can’t wait til HORDY gets back that guy would bump up our current team toughness from 4/10 to 11/10 as eager has chosen a different path and FrankenSUTTONstein is trying to lay low as judge shanny is watching closely. HORDY was practicing with the team today and hopefully plays this thursday

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    The Oil are definitely a small, skilled team and not a Bruinsesque machine of brutality and punishment. the closest we have is Eager who’s playing like a blanket that needs to be hung out to dry.

    But a word of warning to all the build a Bruinesque team folks… the Oil have a poor track record with Coke-Machines… for every Lucic out there, there are a ton of JFJs

  • A-Mc

    Goalies have their little spot in the world clearly marked out so even the dumbest ones know where they are safe and where they aren’t. If you want to play the puck in the face off circles you should expect the same treatment everybody else gets there no matter the size of your pads. The only thing Shanahan has to do now is react the exact same way the next time it happens and not decide the practice needs to be stepped on.

    The only qualifier is that the NHL has created a bit of a sense of security for their Masked Marvels by the way they have protected them til now. I would feel even more strongly that it is exactly what should have happened to Miller, if Miller even had a clue that he might get clobbered for his wandering ways.

    Anyway, here’s hopin’ it’s the new world order.

  • A-Mc

    The title of this comment is “Late to the Party 2 – Im gonna say it anyway”

    I believe what Lucic did was fine, Miller realized that he was gonna get hit braced himself and took it like a vaginapants. A 2 minute penalty is more the enough in this situation.

    The real sad part of this “event” was the lack of “stick up for your teamate” that was shown be all the Sabres that were on the ice. Just proof that the game is getting soft, Ruff should of scratched that entire line not just Myers.

    But I do agree with Wanye, if that was any off the kids getting hurt I would go crazy!!! But that is what being Oiler fan is all about.

    Kudos to Lucic and please join us here in E-town.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    NO Susupention IMO. If a goalie doesn’t want to get hit, stay in your crease. you come out, you’re just another skater as far as I’m concerned.

    • OilLeak

      Fine if that’s what you want to believe, but the rulebook says otherwise.

      Dirty play by Lucic, he went for the hit, full speed and brought his arms up. Maybe an instinctual move, but players need to take responsibility for their actions, that was a violent act. Lucic is a bull.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Oileak, watch the video again, his arm/elbow is snug up against his torso, his arm/elbow isn’t extended at all. He made contact with Miller from the side. His head may have wobbled around somewhat but it wasn’t targeted or the point of contact.

        Once he sees a colision is imminant he starts coasting and braces for contact. It’s a clean hit if the player on the receiving end isn’t wearing goalie equipment.

        The charging penalty was a farce. From the Bruins blueline to the redline Lucic feels he has an opportunity at a breakaway, his acceleration was in an effort to regain posession of the puck and bring harm to Millers Sabres in another way. Milan is big and strong but obviously, not fast enough. Put 1″ of high density foam underneath that shinpad of his and he catches up to the buck at the Sabres blueline. Obviously he’s not a shot blocker.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        and @Moneypuck

        It looked to me like he extended his arms through the hit… not on the head mind you. but I think that was a hit, as if Miller were a D.

        But @Oilleak… who’s saying it wasn’t an illegal hit? probably someone… I can’t be bothered to re-read the whole thread. but I think most, if not all, believe the penalty was assessed correctly according to the rulebook. that isn’t at issue. At issue is whether it rises to suspension-level.

  • OilLeak

    I was a goalie my whole life, played up to some decent level hockey, and I always believed in a play like that I was fair game. Wearing pads did not give me carte blanche to go wherever I wanted, disrupt a play, get in peoples way, and do it all untouched. Miller is maybe 160, I applaud him for being willing to take that chance, he took a hit to make a play. It is not Lucic’s job to leap out of the way, no suspension needed.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    I hate it when goaltenders rush out to prevent potential breakaways but I don’t think that they should be fair game. Ryan Miller is too valuable to the Buffalo Sabres for them to lose him long-term (even if the Enroth kid is playing well). By not suspending Lucic, the NHL has set the precedent that that is a legal play in the NHL. I fully hope that the next time that we get a goaltender lined up outside of his crease, he smoke the crap out of him.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    Nobody comes to the goalies defence?

    The number one, high priced allstar goalie who loves to run his mouth in front of media scrums had no backup?

    Wonder how many christmas cards Ryan Miller gets from his teammates?

    my guess…zero

    Wonder how many christams cards Milan Lucic will get from the Sabers?

    my guess…a lot

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Miller should have done the ol’ Dominik Hasek QB slide and send Milan for a Gaborik-esque double backflip.

    But then there’d be nothing to talk about on TSN, which I can’t complain about since I haven’t had to hear about a headshot in a week.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    That’s the only element missing from Hordichuks game. When in doubt run the goaltender has never been high on Hordy’s list.

    We need more violent incidents to discuss here. I have a good feeling someone is going to venture into the hornets nest tommorow evening.

  • OilFarmer

    Exactly. We need him to know how to rattle the other goalies birdcage
    But I’m sure he will learn. Everyone hates Sean Avery for giving goalies a hard time but I’m sure the NYR fans love it

    I’ve also noticed how quite a few guys on our team never finishes there’s checks. They’d follow them but last second move to the side and decide to hit the board like wtf. But I’m the type of guy that appreciates a nice big clean hit more than a goal…. Unless its HORDY scoring

  • OilFarmer

    Maybe if Miller realized that styling his hair with butter is a bad idea his lid wouldn’t have popped off so easily and he wouldn’t have got concussed. Seriously that guys hair is way to greasy.