Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
Blog Entry

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 2:21 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

The NHL has handed down the punishment on Jordin Tootoo of the Nashville Predators for his crash into Buffalo Sabres netminder Ryan Miller from over the weekend. The result is a two-game suspension for the Pesky Preds forward.

As has become customary, here is video from Brendan Shanahan explaining the decision, but this one coming on location from Pebble Beach instead of New York because of the Board of Governors meetings.

In detailing the suspension, Shanahan notes a few factors that played into the rationale. First is the fact that while there is pressure from defenseman Jordan Leopold, it's not enough to significantly steer Tootoo toward the crease. This is something to keep in mind when you look at the David Booth hit on Miikka Kiprusoff again and why it's unlikely the Booth hit was given much of a look from the league.

Secondly is perhaps the money quote from Shanahan in this conversation: "Goalies should feel safe in their crease." For those wondering why Tootoo's hit warranted two games while Milan Lucic, who ran into Miller a month ago, resulting in a concussion and this high state of awareness, that's a key difference even if the rulebook clearly states that goalies aren't free to be hit no matter if they are in the crease or not.

Also coming into play was the fact that before the collision, Tootoo looks up and spots Miller before running into him. I don't see how that should have much of an impact, by the time he actually looks at Miller, there is nowhere left for Tootoo to go.

If anything, and Shanahan concedes as much, it looks like Tootoo actually tries to leap over Miller and avoid the hit. Bobby Orr he is not. Still, it didn't save Tootoo completely. The fact that he was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit was also a factor for Shanahan, perhaps reducing the suspension since he was punished in-game as well.

The environment around this topic is toxic right now, particularly around Ryan Miller and the Sabres. As some have joked, Tootoo was suspended two games for Lucic's hit on Miller. But if there was no punishment for Tootoo here, there would have been a near riot among the Sabres faithful.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff saw this as an opportunity for the league.

"I hope to see a strong message," Ruff said following practice on Monday. "Really, it’s just time. I just hope they do the right thing with it.

"I understand with a phone hearing the max you’re going to get is [a five-game suspension]. In my eyes, is that a big message? It’s OK. I look at the NFL and I look at the Detroit Lion [Ndamukong Suh] that got two games for a 6-inch kick. He got kicked out of the game, and then that amounted to one-eighth of our season. That’s a 10-game suspension. I think they do it right. The message there is we’re not putting up with this stuff. I think we need a strong message. Is five strong enough? I don’t know."

How about two, coach?

Even with Tootoo getting a boot, I don't think Ruff will be overly pleased. It was him, you might remember, that said the lack of suspension on Lucic meant it was open season to run goaltenders. That's why he was hoping for a clear message. Well that and his starting goaltender was run over twice in two games.

I know the folks in Buffalo won't agree, but I think it's a pretty good scenario of the punishment fitting the crime here, particularly with no injury resulting on the play. But it will cause every hit to be scrutinized, just like a lot of other hits around the league.

More NHL Discipline News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:58 pm
 

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

Well you are right about one thing SoxCeltsPatsB's there is no comparison in the two. Too bad it was Tootoo that had to pay for Lucic's crime. But we all knew the mulligan was coming and Tootoo was the perfect sucker. 

By the way to say that Miller got into Lucic's line and was steamrolled is as poor an assessment as I have heard, well since Suh said he was simply trying to regain his balance when he stomped on his opponent. It's amazing those rose colored glasses stay on your face with your head clearly planted up your @$$........... 



Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:54 pm
 

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

Cindy=Whiner ... still crying I see.  Lucic isn't a dirty player .. he's a tough player that can score as well.   You're just a clown who's bitter the Bruins handed it to your guys last night and ur girl Cindy was a no-show.  Cry



Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:51 pm
 

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

Lucic was goin for a loose puck and Miler came waaay out of his crease in the line of a player steamrolling down the ice for a potential breakaway.

Tootoo on the other hand not only went directly into the crease after he lost the puck, he hit directly into Miller's head.


There is no comparison of the two ... and Shanni got it right once again.   
 



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

This is terrible for a few reasons:

1. Tootoo already recieved a 5 min major and was kicked out of the game the incident occured.

2. This is an over-reaction from the Lucic / Miller collision

3. This was a hockey play where a forward was driving the net. The attempt to avoid contact with the goalie is questionable, but a 5 min major and game misconduct was already called so move on


Now that a precedent has been set here, what happens the next time there is any contact with a goalie either by accident, pushed into by a defenseman, or on purpose? This decision now opens up a whole new ballgame in terms of how a ref gets to perceive the play. That to me is a huge problem cause these zebras are brutal.
I agree with all of these excellent points. If the league had done the right thing and suspended Lucic 2 games, this wouldn't be an issue. Total hypocrisy. Lucic has a history of cheap shots and targets Miller's head after the puck is gone. Tootoo is trying to make a play toward the goal and, from what I can tell, is trying to avoid Miller (which is a stipulation in the rulebook regarding contact with the goalie). Add to your first point the minor pounding Tootoo received and that seems like punishment enough.

Secondly is perhaps the money quote from Shanahan in this conversation: "Goalies should feel safe in their crease." For those wondering why Tootoo's hit warranted two games while , who ran into Miller a month ago, resulting in a concussion and this high state of awareness, that's a key difference even if the rulebook clearly states that goalies aren't free to be hit no matter if they are in the crease or not.
This is a bunch of garbage. Goalies are constantly being hit in their crease while open-ice hits are extremely rare (that is, unless Milan Lucic is involved). Not to mention that the Lucic open-ice hit was WAY more dangerous with two players going at a high/full rate of speed vs. a low rate of speed and a stationary goalie in this case.



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:24 pm
 

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

Total BS!

Tootoo looked like he tried to jump to avoid contact...then he put is arms up in a non-aggressive path.

I have to laugh that Shanny is now dealing out the punishments when he was quite a aggressive player when he was in his 20s..he got softer as he aged.



Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:30 pm
 

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

I agree with the suspension of Tootoo, but why doesn't Miller get anything?  He's clearly throwing punches to Tootoo's head while Tootoo is defenseless and his head is pressed to the ice.  Miller got  away earlier this year swinging his stick like a baseball bat and appears to have done so again.
Have you ever watched hockey. What happens when you get near any goaltender, defensemen crosscheck to death or a forward comes in and hits you from behind. Yet they are not called. Why?

As for Miller, no did anything after the Lucic hit on him, so he figured the next time gets hit he will have to take care of it himself.

What about Lucic you didnt sit him?  His hit was much worse then Tootoo's hit!
On Lucic's hit Miller is out of his crease, on Tootoo's hit he's in the crease. I think Lucic's hit was much worse as well. He should of gotten the 2 game suspension. As for Tootoo, Shanahan had to suspend him, otherwise I think it would be open season for any goaltender. Be it Miller, Howard, or Brodeur.

2. This is an over-reaction from the Lucic / Miller collision
I agree. Only because it would be open season for not only Buffalo goalies, but all goalies.

Now that a precedent has been set here, what happens the next time there is any contact with a goalie either by accident, pushed into by a defenseman, or on purpose? This decision now opens up a whole new ballgame in terms of how a ref gets to perceive the play. That to me is a huge problem cause these zebras are brutal.
As if the stripes need anything more to attempt to call or make a decision as to what to call. They are already bad enough.




Since: Apr 12, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:25 pm
 

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

Your not gunna suspend a player for getting physical after he was given a cheap shot. Miller got ran 2 games in a row youd be throwing punches too. After that whole thing Buffalo only got a 1 min. power play and you think  Buffalo should have been penalized. Your either a homer or you dont like Miller.



Since: Mar 23, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:16 pm
 

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

Now that a precedent has been set here

didn`t he set that tone when he refused to suspend Lucic?



Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:04 pm
 

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

I agree with the suspension of Tootoo, but why doesn't Miller get anything?  He's clearly throwing punches to Tootoo's head while Tootoo is defenseless and his head is pressed to the ice.  Miller got  away earlier this year swinging his stick like a baseball bat and appears to have done so again.  He's a pussy!



Since: Oct 9, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

That's about right....not nearly as bad a hit as Lucic's but not Shanahan had to do something to prevent Lindy Ruff's open season on goalies.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com