23 Intently Staring Goalies
by lsefton on 12/04/11 at 05:53 PM ET
Ryan Miller comes back, gets hit. Everyone had to see this one coming, especially with the Predators’ situational behavior-challenged Jordan Tootoo. It was right to put Tootoo in the box, and he should be expecting a call from Brendan Shanahan some time this week. The overhead camera shows that Miller was on the magic blue ice, and Tootoo didn’t make an attempt to stop before he said hello.
Should Miller have been expecting to get hit? You bet! He’s going to have every player who figures he has something to prove or who thinks he can make Miller gun-shy aiming in his general direction.
That said, I would have been a lot happier to see the Sabres more protective before the hit—things shouldn’t have gotten this far. The Sabres need to take a much stronger stance against running their goaltender. Because the next step is Miller figuring out that you hit the idiot with the edge of your blocker, and not whap him with your glove….
(Sorry, channeling Billy Smith for a moment)
In any case, no team can afford to have their goalie run. And they can’t afford to have their goalie on the IR because they broke a finger while breaking some goon’s nose.
The Torono Star has the follow-up on the hit:
His biggest stop came with 4:06 left in the second period. Tootoo crashed into Miller, knocking him out of the net and onto the ice. The collision prompted a pileup of players, and Miller threw several punches at Tootoo after they hit the ice.
Tootoo was given a major penalty for charging and a game misconduct.
Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff didn’t think it was enough in terms of punishment.
“What happened in the game was a joke,” a livid Ruff said. “All it does is prove the fact when I said it was open season. It appears it is open season.
“You have a guy coming off a concussion and you’ve got Jordin Tootoo running over your goaltender,” Ruff said. “We used to get a two-minute power play. We got a one-minute power play. That’s a joke. I want to see what the league wants to do with this one.”
Miller stressed that he is determined to stand up for himself.
“(Tootoo) is going to come hard to the net every time,” Miller said. “I got in the mix right after that. I can’t sit back and let other guys take advantage of me.
“I got right in the pileup and tried to do what I could do, which wasn’t a whole lot. But I showed that I am not going to take it.”
Tootoo said he did his best to avoid any contact with Miller.
“I was driving to the net and I got a little shove from behind,” Tootoo said. “The last thing I wanted to do was run the goalie over and put my team down. Clearly, I tried to jump out of the way. There was no intent to charge at him.”
Tootoo, who expects he will have to face the NHL’s disciplinary committee, thought Miller should have been penalized as part of the pileup after the collision.
More from the Toronto Star
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About 23 Intently Staring Goalies
23 Intently Staring Goalies comes from the 23 close-up photos of goalies that used to line the walls of my office.
On the good side, it kept down interruptions, but it also made sure I had to leave my trash outside my door if I wanted it picked up.
I've been watching and analyzing goaltenders for going on 40 years. Some of that was spent drawing goalies on my grade 8 math homework. Then it was taking my card decks and printouts to Indianapolis Racer games. Luckily, the Internet took off, and by 1991 I was half of the duo that would ultimately become the Plaidworks hockey mailing lists. I wrote "Handicapping the Goalies' for the San Jose Sharks mailing list, and took a lot of photos of goalies in action. I have around 5000 slides of mostly goaltenders in action from 1989 through 2001 from the WHL, IHL and NHL. Since I've gone digital, I've added about 10,000 more images to the library. During summers and when the league went dark, I was reading through multiple SF By area news papers, tracking ice hockey from the 1917 recreational leagues up through the California Seals.
We'll be talking about goalies and goaltending. We'll talk about whats going on now, who's in the system, and when the doldrums hit, I'll haul something out of the big bag of history, or something from the photo archives. We'll talk about who's hot and why, and who's not and what they can do to get back on track. We'll take a look at the trends in scouting goalies, and why a style may work for one team but not another. I'll battle with my dictation software to get it to understand Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky.
It should be interesting--hope you want to come along for the ride!