Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Miller’
Part two in a series. Read part 1 here.
DATELINE UNKNOWN – It probably wasn’t a good idea to house the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins in adjacent buildings. Players from both sides engaged in a war of words in the village commons that transpired into fisticuffs and caused a ruckus so crash-banging loud, it awoke the entire complex.
We’re new at this, but what a numbskull decision.
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You wouldn’t have been out of bounds if you had wondered, after the first half of the National Hockey League season, if Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula was going to ask for a refund.
After all, $189 million isn’t supposed to buy you last place in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. Isn’t supposed to buy you 20-24-5. Isn’t supposed to buy you a 12-game road losing streak. Isn’t supposed to buy you howls from the faithful at the First Niagara Center calling for the heads of coach Lindy Ruff or GM Darcy Regier or trades of Ryan Miller, Derek Roy or Drew Stafford …
Yet at the All-Star break that’s exactly where Pegula found his newly-minted hockey toy.
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Eavesdropping on the debate about physicality in the NHL in 2011 is not unlike flipping your TV to an episode of “Divorce Court.” It only takes a couple seconds to gauge the emotional temperature in the room, which usually falls somewhere between “lukewarm” and “Elin Woods.” The facts should speak for themselves but they don’t – at least the two parties, charged with emotion, rarely let them. The endgame is clear: They’re breaking up. It’s just a question of who gets what.
Headshots? Yes, gone.
An all-out fighting ban? Let’s talk about that.
In “Fighting the Good Fight,” Adam Proteau comes out swinging with the the golf clubs, and he wants the yacht.
Eleven days ago, Boston’s Milan Lucic delivered a bull-rushing charge of Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, a devastating hit that resulted in a concussion, whiplash and an immediate need for retribution. The Sabres should’ve pounded Lucic when the hit occurred in the first period – yet they failed miserably. Ask Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad, the poster boy for a cowering effort who, afterward, pointed the finger toward his own face. Ask Buffalo GM Darcy Regier, who spoke to reporters and vowed his team will “deal with it differently in the future.”
Well, that “future” is today, as Boston visits Buffalo. A season-shifting opportunity is knocking upon the Sabres’ door, and it’s Lucic on the other side, pounding his Fred Flintstone-sized fist. The burning question: Is Lucic knocking as the grim reaper, someone who will kill Buffalo’s team unity? Or can the Sabres kick him to the curb like a pestering solicitor, and earn the defending Stanley Cup Champions’ respect as they battle atop the Northeast Division?
So, we all know that money can’t buy love, right?
What about a Stanley Cup?
Turns out that’s the million-dollar, well make that the $64 million, … awww, what the hell – make that the $189 million question they’ve been asking about the struggling Buffalo Sabres since the start of the NHL season.
OK, “struggling” is sort of a misrepresentation. Sort of. At 12-8-0, the Sabres are still tied atop the NHL’s Northeast Division with the Boston Bruins (whom they will face in an epic rematch Wednesday night) and fifth in the Eastern Conference.
This week I’m going to try something different. I’ll address a topic in the NHL and then a topic in college hockey. Respectively: a cheap shot and the rise of a powerhouse.
Saturday night in Boston, Bruins winger Milan Lucic plowed into Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller and sent him flying, knocking Miller out indefinitely with a concussion. On Monday the NHL announced that Lucic would not receive any disciplinary action, its decision based on a lack of intent on Lucic’s part.
Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff was outraged by the hit saying that if Lucic wasn’t suspended that it would be “fair game on goaltenders.”
Just hours after the ruling, Ruff was proven prophetic as his backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth was run over by Montreal Canadiens forward Erik Cole.