Wilson: Goalies are too vulnerable

Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) has some words with Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic (17)...

Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) has some words with Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic (17) after being charged during the first period at TD Banknorth Garden. (Greg M. Cooper/US PRESSWIRE)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:35 PM ET

Ron Wilson had yet to hear the verdict on Bruins bruiser Milan Lucic’s steamrolling of Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller and didn’t really have an opinion on the specific play.

But the Maple Leafs coach said Monday that perhaps it’s time for the NHL to make sure the most vulnerable players on the ice are well protected.

“A goaltender is more or less defenceless in some of those situations,” Wilson said when asked about Saturday’s incident, that went unpunished by the league following a hearing on Monday.

“They’re not wearing the same type of equipment, they’re not built to absorb a 250-pound freight train running you over. That’s the debate that’s going to go on.

“We’ve got to find a way to protect the most valuable asset on any team and that’s the goalie. Not unlike the NFL ... I don’t watch the CFL much, but I assume they have similar rules with protecting quarterbacks.”

Like Miller, the Leafs have a goaltender who is suffering from concussion-like symptoms in James Reimer, who once again wasn’t on the ice Monday and the team hasn’t given indication he is returning any time soon. Wilson reiterated on Monday that he doesn’t believe the hit on Reimer by Montreal’s Brian Gionta was deliberate.

Meanwhile, Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens is of two minds on the Lucic-Miller collision.

“It looks worse when it’s slowed down on TV,” Scrivens said. “I think Lucic has a point that goalies may be fair game if they come out, but Miller has got a point that we should be protected.

“As a goalie, you always risk when you come out of the net to play a puck. I’m a guy who likes to try to help our D-men out when playing the puck.”

Whether Scrivens gets a chance to play the puck Tuesday against the Coyotes or if Jonas Gustavsson returns to the starter’s role won’t be revealed until game day.

When asked who will get the call, Wilson had a deadpan response: “A goalie. He’ll be wearing two pads. A mask. Probably with a Leafs logo on it. How’s that?”


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