Last night the Bruins played the Sabres. And this happened.
Wow. Pretty hard hit.
When you look at the ariel view of the play, it looks like a headshot. When you watch the replays from other angles, it was a shoulder to shoulder hit. The only thing I can see here was an intent to injure.
Miller came out out of crease to play the puck near the face off circle. You’re out of position, you are fair game for the fore-check.
The only thing Lucic is guilty of here honestly is being a jagoff. There was definite intent to send Miller a message to stay in the crease. Miller should know that if he comes out to play the puck, he is officially a moving target. Lucic shouldn’t have come at him like a bat out of hell like that. The contact was totally legal and clean from a rule book standard. However, Lucic should have known better than to be so wreckless on open ice like that.
No suspension in my opinion, but I can completely understand why fans are mad.
The Sabres have announced that Miller has suffered a concussion. I wish him well and hope he recovers quickly, however I don’t believe you can punish the result. You must punish the act. From a technical perspective, Lucic wasn’t wrong. From a safety and common sense point of view, he was. I suspect because Miller was injured he will face additional punishment, but I don’t believe the act was punishable.
Most simple and straight forward post you will ever see from me.
A reader sent me this from the NHL Rulebook:
B. An attacking player makes other than incidental contact with the goalkeeper while both are attempting to play a loose puck at the time a goal is scored > A Minor and/or Major penalty, plus assessment of whatever other penalties may be appropriate up to and including Supplementary Discipline and the goal is disallowed.
I believe this was incidental contact. The puck was fair game for grabs and Miller was far outside of the crease. The more I look at it, the more I believe Lucic actually was okay to make that hit. Look at it more closely. If you look at the replay, Lucic snowplow stopped as he saw Miller coming out at him. I think he didn’t believe Miller was going to come out that far and beat him to the puck. He was skating hard and honestly didn’t have time to stop, but it seems he tried to minimize impact with Miller. He hit the breaks.