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Leafs coach implores NHL to protect goalies

Nov 14, 2011, 2:57 PM EDT

Brian Gionta collides with James Reimer AP

Leafs coach Ron Wilson thinks the NHL needs to do a better job protecting its goalies. Given his team’s current goaltending situation, you can hardly blame him.

Wilson, of course, is being forced to deal with the absence of starter James Reimer, who’s missed the last three weeks after colliding with Montreal’s Brian Gionta.

Milan Lucic’s intentional collision with Ryan Miller on Saturday that left Buffalo’s starter with a concussion has Wilson wondering what it’s going to take to stop the carnage.

“It’ll be interesting to see the direction the league’s going to go,” said Wilson, as per the Globe and Mail. “There’s no white papers out there to describe that kind of an injury or hit with regards to goaltenders. If it was a defenseman, you’d say that it was a clean hit.

“However, a goaltender’s more or less defenseless in some of those situations. They’re not wearing the same type of equipment, they’re not built to absorb a 250-pound freight train running you over. Whereas a defenseman may. That’s the debate that’s going to go on in the next couple of days. Should we be protecting goaltenders?”

For what it’s worth, I can’t believe people are saying stuff like, “If Miller doesn’t want to get hurt, he should stay in his crease.”

Ridiculous.

Whether you think goalies should be fair game or not, the fact is, they aren’t. Miller deserves absolutely none of the blame for getting injured. That’s all on Lucic.

  1. tbcrow - Nov 14, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    For once I completely agree with an entire article by you.

    It’s an EXTREMELY slippery slope we are perched on the edge of. If the league doesn’t give a layer of bubble wrap to the goalies, it will start to become standard for a losing team to try and knock the opponents goalie straight into the locker room. What’s a 2 game suspension for a questionable hit when your team earns 2 points for a win and essentially leaves your opponent without their started indefinitely.

    Beyond the greater argument for the good of the league, we all know Lucic is a wandering brute on ice skates. Half the time he has to look at the notes written on the back of his glove to remember he has a stick, and it’s supposed to move that round rubber thing around the ice. As long as the league continues to cater to glorified career ruiners, we’re going to see a very nasty progression of injuries.

  2. sonofsamiam - Nov 14, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    All on Lucic? Goalies aren’t wearing red jerseys out there. Particularly when they are out acting as a third defenseman. The only intent to injure on that play was Miller trying to two hand Milan with his stick after the hit. Are you sure the Stanley Cup Finals haven’t influenced your opinion on things Bruin?

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 14, 2011 at 6:01 PM

      Agreed. If you want your goalie protected tell him not to go full speed at a guy with 60 lbs on him in an effort to play the puck

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