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Comparing Tootoo-Miller with Lucic-Miller is a useless exercise

Dec 6, 2011, 3:54 PM EDT

brendan-shanahan Getty Images

Nashville Predators fans are understandably upset that Jordin Tootoo was suspended two games for running over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. After all, if Milan Lucic can run over Miller and get away with a minor penalty, why can’t Tootoo?

Brendan Shanahan’s explanation hardly assuaged the feeling the Preds got screwed.

“It is the attacking player’s responsibility to make a better effort not to crash directly into the opposing goaltender,” said the NHL’s disciplinarian in punishing Tootoo.

So, wait, why wasn’t Lucic suspended again? Nobody really believes he couldn’t have made a better effort to avoid Miller, do they?

But here’s the thing – the two incidents can’t be compared. Not after Shanahan received new marching orders from the general managers following the Lucic-Miller case.

On Nov. 15, after meeting with the general managers in Toronto, Shanahan told reporters that, “going forward certainly the direction and the conversation of the issue was certainly of a heightened sensitivity to the well-being of our goaltenders. As I’ve said many times, I’m not a policy maker, I’m a policy enforcer.”

And clearly the general managers had come up with a new policy, one that they’d be sharing with their teams.

So while it might not seem fair that Lucic got away with running the goalie and Tootoo didn’t, it’s sort of like the asbestos industry complaining it can’t put asbestos in schools anymore. The rules have changed. Get used to it.

  1. solador78 - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    The rules didn’t change. It has always been illegal for a player to “charge” a goalie.

    Shanahan was reprimanded for his incorrect ruling and was warned not to make the same mistake again.

    It’s just too bad that the NHL didn’t step in to right the original wrong or at least replace the cause with someone more qualified.

    • icedtearex - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:51 PM

      Unfortunately the league is being slowly turned into a non contact beer league.Half the commenters here have never laced on skates.What this says in effect is YOU CAN NO LONGER TAKE THE PUCK TO THE NET,THE OWNERS ARE MORE INTERESTED IN PROTECTING THEIR INVESTMENTS THAN THE EXCITEMENT OF THE GAME FOR THE FANS.At this rate we will soon have an owner dictating the rules of the game from his new franchise in Honolulu. This is not the pansy american games of baseball,basketball or football but it will soon be.I suggest as a former player that during a pansy shootout, players now wind up on Miller with a slapshot,headhigh from 10 feet out.

      • solador78 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        I’m sure they must seem really impressive in your boyfriend’s beer league, but slapshots from 10 feet out don’t scare NHL goalies.

      • icedtearex - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:21 PM

        Obviously the limp wrister below has never put one off the opposing goalies mask.

  2. drewsylvania - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Should never have been suspended. He tried to get out of the way and screwed up. If it weren’t Miller or the Sabres, he wouldn’t have been suspended. This has nothing to do with a new rule on “running the goalie”–it has to do with Lindy doing his usual whiny d-bag routine.

    • bobbyc27 - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:05 PM

      How do I put this decently……oh yeah, GFY

      • drewsylvania - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:52 PM

        Oh look, a Sabres homer. And cowardly ITG to boot.

  3. janiesmom - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    I have been saying that ever since it happened and people STILL aren’t listening.It’s not bias against Tootoo or the Preds or in favor of Boston. It’s a result of a clarification of the policy as set by the GMs.

    • ThatGuy - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:37 PM

      My question is, if this suspension is not directly related to it being either Tootoo or because it was Miller that got run. Why wasn’t David booth similiarly suspended for running Mikka Kippursoff?
      It is almost the exact same play, you can’t suspend one without the other but Booth didn’t even have a hearing. I think it was even the same night, but it was definatly within a day.

      • janiesmom - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:49 PM

        Well, now Shanahan has explained why he didn’t suspend Booth, for whatever that’s worth.

  4. lsxphotog - Dec 6, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    The ambiguity built into the rules is frustrating, that’s for sure. Sometimes it’s clearly an accident, other times, it’s clearly deliberate. IMO, the Lucic hit was deliberate. He saw him the whole way down the ice and ran him. Anyone unbiased to the situation would agree, I hate both teams. :-) haha jk But this seemed more incidental than the Lucic if you ask me. He looks like there was hesitation and he also tried to avert giving Miller the full brunt of the hit. Lucic set himself up for a textbook hit like they teach you when you’re a kid.

    I feel this was a statement of “avoid contacting goaltenders!”

    • boston25rocketman - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:16 AM

      Yes, completely deliberate. The puck was obviously nowhere near the play, Lucic clearly didn’t draw his arms in and Miller was clearly all the way back in his crease picking daisies like a good little boy. Lucic should have swung his stick for Miller’s fat whiny head the way Miller swung for his legs after the play. Unbiased, sure. Non-hockey fans agree with me, morons from Buffalo are the only ones who are seeing this different. Wake up.

      • jaysaucer - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        Non-hockey fans agree with me? Is that because you don’t know anything about hockey? Lucic is clearly a d bag.

        Good job joining the bandwagon after the Cup win last year.

      • lsxphotog - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        Nice post. If they’re still teaching reading the Boston public school program, take a course and read the NHL rules. You won’t, however, learn the respect players generally have for each other. It was a dirty play, no matter how you look at it, just like your smelly-ass harbor “ha-bah”. Come back in 25 years when you actually know something about hockey. Non-hockey fan’s opinion of hockey are not important to me, they don’t watch hockey?

  5. pastabelly - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Enough with the Lucic hit. Miller was way out of his crease to challenge Lucic for the puck. Too too ran him in the crease. It’s not useless to compare the hits. The only similarity is a whiny Sabres goaltender.

    • jaysaucer - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      Whiny? Name one goalie that wouldn’t be upset over that cheap shot? Probably your team’s goalie I bet.

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