Lucic has dates with destiny

Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic in Boston, Massachusetts November 10, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic in Boston, Massachusetts November 10, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Chris Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:35 PM ET

Everybody is going to be circling Nov. 23 on their NHL schedules.

That’s the next time the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres meet - in Buffalo - in the wake of Saturday’s incident which saw Bruins winger Milan Lucic slam into Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller.

Miller sustained a concussion on the play and Lucic has a 1 p.m. meeting with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan Monday, according to TSN.

Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier told the Buffalo News Sunday Miller is out indefinitely and he wants Lucic to pay the price.

“If this hit and other types of hits like this are not suspended, we are opening up the possibility of losing goaltenders to injury,” Regier told the News’ Mike Harrington.

“And not just injury, but concussion. When I look at the position of goaltending, in a lot of ways it’s not unlike quarterback in football. I feel very strongly the protection has to be provided and players committing these types of action should be punished.

“The last thing we need to do in the NHL is to be losing our stars to concussions on plays like this.”

The Sabres, who are in Montreal to play the Canadiens Monday night, called up goaltender Drew MacIntyre to back up Jhonas Enroth.

The Sabres’ lack of response to the Lucic hit - the five skaters on the ice gathered in a scrum after Miller was knocked flying, losing his mask - was pathetic with nobody taking on the hulking Lucic (easy for me to say, huh?).

“You could go to each one of our players and they would tell you that they wished they had dealt with it differently,” Regier said. “And they will deal with it differently in the future. We were all disappointed.”

The five players on the ice were Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Paul Gaustad, Tyler Myers and Andrej Sekera.

“I hoped I could have done more there,” Gaustad told the News Sunday. “It was something where I thought it was an illegal hit and today it’s one of those things you take a look at how guys respond and how I responded and I can only look at myself and look myself in the mirror. I wasn’t good enough as a player last night to help the team win.”

Miller left the game, but waited around to talk to the media afterwards.

“I just stuck around because I wanted to say what a piece of (crap) I think Lucic is,” said Miller. “Fifty pounds on me, and he runs me like that? It’s unbelievable. Everyone in this city see him as a big, tough, solid player. I respected him for how hard he plays. That was gutless. Gutless. Piece of (crap).”

The Sabres’ reaction to the hit at 13:12 of the first period of what turned out to be a 6-2 Bruins win was tepid for a team that saw its best player (okay, so he hasn’t been having a great season, but he’s still their marquee guy) hammered to the ice.

Goaltenders are not fair game though “incidental” contact is allowed when a netminder is out of the blue paint. Lucic barrelled into Miller with a shoulder-to-shoulder hit. Lucic was given two minutes for charging.

It will be interesting on what grounds Shanahan could consider a suspension. Intent to injure?

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


Videos

Photos