BUFFALO, N.Y. | It was Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller who called it a trend – he and his brethren in the NHL getting run over by skaters. He suffered a concussion in a collision with Milan Lucic, as did Al Montoya of the New York Islanders after getting hit by Evander Kane.
The Detroit Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard complained “I’m just sick and tired of getting run over” when the Vancouver Canucks scored on him with Jannik Hansen in the crease.
“I ran into Bill McCreary the other day and he just said ‘If it’s an alligator pit, they’d stop.’ But it’s not — you know, it’s where you go to score goals,” Miller told reporters, as quoted by the Canadian Press. “These guys have the ability to stop on a dime, turn, cut, take a hit.
“Just a little more attention has to be paid and the only way they pay attention is if you penalize them.”
The Lucic situation was the most publicized, as the Boston Bruins forward escaped supplemental discipline despite doing little to avoid drilling Miller in open ice.
Tomas Vokoun said Monday he doesn’t think the situation of players running goalies has been bad in years past, but he called Lucic’s hit on Miller “unnecessary.”
“I don’t think was right,” the veteran Washington Capitals goalie said. “It’s like goalie trying to poke somebody’s skate when he’s skating by the net and he crashes into the boards. It’s unnecessary and that play – it’s not a hockey play. You don’t hit the guy when he’s in the circle.
“There was no reason for that. Stuff like that, to me he should have gotten suspended for that, but that’s up to the league.”
Vokoun said that the idea of goaltender safety and what needs to be done to protect them got blown out of proportion “a little bit” because of the few incidents in recent weeks. But he said “it’s still dangerous” and added that the league should suspend players who hit goaltenders on purpose.