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Ryan Miller got knocked again last night

Dec 14, 2011, 1:05 PM EDT

In what’s becoming the hottest trend of the 2011-12 NHL season, Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller got bumped again — this time by Ottawa rookie Colin Greening:

It seems the constant contact Miller absorbs is weighing on the Sabres. I mean, this latest incident was pretty innocuous: Greening’s hardly a goon (he went to Cornell! He’s a Quill and Dagger member!), the contact was minor (at best) and it occurred at the end of Ottawa’s 3-2 victory (so it’s not like the hit was born out of frustration, or Greening trying to “send a message.”)

There’s also the fact Christian Ehrhoff jumped to Miller’s defense.

Now look, it’s not like this was the first fight of Ehrhoff’s career. The 29-year-old German fought Doug Weight back in 2009 and the immortal Ole-Kristian Tollefsen in 2007, so pugilistic waters have been charted.

It’s just that…it’s Christian Ehrhoff. He’s an offensive defenseman, a power-play specialist, a guy that’s fought twice in 530 career games. It’s not his role to fight, nor is he especially adept at it — so let’s assume his reaction was a response to larger-scale, season-long issues affecting the Sabres (and Miller) as opposed to the individual incident of Greening’s bump.

You can look at this one of two ways:

1) It’s a good sign for Buffalo that anybody — even Ehrhoff — is willing to jump in and protect the goalie. That certainly wasn’t the case when Milan Lucic ran Miller.

2) It’s a bad sign for Buffalo, because Ehrhoff ain’t a deterrent. Sure, Ehrhoff did the right thing (much like Paul Gaustad did in the rematch with Boston), but flailing punches and some wrestling aren’t going to prevent the next guy from making contact with Miller.

  1. haterzgonahate - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    good on Ehrhoff.. he did surprisingly well considering. but i agree… if Christian Ehrhoff needs to fight your battles you got problems

    “open season on goalies” is the new “head shots”

  2. triplepropalm - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Who else is supposed to do it in that spot?

    Jordan Leopold?

    Jason Pominville?

    Those were the two closest guys other than Ehrhoff. And it’s not like Greening is likely to get a 4 on 4 shift in OT. So, it would be the Sabres waiting to address it down the line and people calling them soft again.

    It will be interesting if someone like Gaustad or Kassian or McCormick steps to Greening the next time the Sabres and Sens play.

  3. dropthepuckeh - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    kind of joke if you ask me. First of all, Miller once again engages in theatrics and reacts as if the guy shot him. Then he turns to watch in hopes that his players “have his back” and will protect him. They’ve already proven that they don’t have his back as demonstrated by them not going after Lucic. Sure, they will fight Tootoo who is listed at 5’9″ and he was already on the ground, or in this case, Greening, a rookie with no fighting majors to his name who came from an ivy league school. Enough with trying to “prove” that the team has his back – if they did then someone would have gone after Lucic, in the moment, regardless of how badly they might’ve gotten hurt. That, by definition, is having someone’s back.

    Miller is drama queen and his act is getting old quickly. Makes it more understandable that they didn’t have his back…

    • davebabychreturns - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:51 PM

      George Parros “came from an ivy league school.”

      As for knocking the Sabres for fighting Tootoo and Greening, well.. they ran the goaltender. It’s not like the Sabres get to decide who runs their goaltender..

      • dropthepuckeh - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:05 PM

        “Its not like the Sabres get to decide who runs their goaltender…”

        Exactly, they just decide if they want to have his back according to who does the running….

      • Mike Halford - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:08 PM

        Parros wasn’t Quill and Dagger, though. That’s high society. Mind you, he did write his Princeton thesis on the West Coast longshoremen’s labor dispute (entitled “Trouble on the Docks”) and scored an “A”…so I guess that’s something.

      • elvispocomo - Dec 14, 2011 at 5:31 PM

        Parros might not be, but Byron Bitz is.

        It’s not like it’s unheard of for a big man to earn such an award.

    • michiganhockey11 - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      Mayeb Miller should take a page out of Ron Hextall’s book next time someone runs him. Take care of his own battles.

  4. davebabychreturns - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Ehrhoff’s gotta earn that $10m somehow, I suppose.

    Still, kudos – he’s a player that could certainly accept a free pass when it comes to these things so I’m sure his teammates appreciate him doing some of the heavy lifting.

    Although I suspect if he really wants to put the hurt on someone he had better focus on stickwork instead.

  5. tjv027 - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Maybe I’m just too biased as a Flyers fan, but I’m really turning on Ryan Miller. He quickly established himself as my favorite non-Flyer hockey player because he was the best American hockey Olympian to watch for as long as I can remember, but the dude sure whines a lot. I’ll be the first to admit that Mike Richards did more complaining than I was (and most Flyers fans were) comfortable with in that series last April, but come on. He has the right to be upset with with getting run the way he has, sure, but now with the flopping, the theatrics, the complaining in postgame interviews…something I wouldn’t care if Kaleta did if I was a Sabres fan, but not something I’d like to see from someone who is supposed to be one of the leaders of my team.

  6. taytay099 - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    My favourite highlight of his Canuck career is when he took a few wild swings at Stalberg.

  7. sonofsamiam - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Remember when Ehrhoff tried to have a go in the finals last year, and then turtled when Adam McQuaid looked at him angry? He was such a perfect Canuck, but he’ll fit in fine on the Sabres too. They’re a cute franchise.

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