Bear Essentials: Miller Needs to Know Place
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BOSTON (CBS) – When Milan Lucic ran over Ryan Miller on Saturday night I could see Patrick Roy nodding his head. I could hear Dominik Hasek whispering under his breath, “what was he thinking?’ Brodeur mischievously smirking. The hype surrounding the now infamous goalie check has simply spun out of control; from suspension hearings to dissatisfied coaches to angry fan bases, swearing goalies, pissed off league officials and so on and so forth. The bottom line is that if Ryan Miller wants to play outside of his crease, he should be prepared to get hit. Period.
Regardless if the collision was intentional or not, Miller is disregarding the principle of the matter; once you cross that crease, you enter a different aspect of the game. When Brodeur played behind the net, when Hasek flipped Gaborik, hell, even when Tim Thomas got aggressive at times last year, they all knowingly entered that “physical realm of play.” They breached their goalie contracts by leaving their safe houses. For Miller to be stunned at what happened to him on Saturday night is simply due to an emotion-driven-one-sided perspective on the matter.
Furthermore, the notion that goalies will now become hitting targets once they step outside of the crease is utterly ridiculous. In hockey, goalies tend to leave the net, when they do, they are aware of the risks involved in their decision-making. On Saturday night, Miller was well aware of those very risks. For him to call Lucic “gutless,” for Buffalo to complain, for the issue to get this out-of-hand demonstrates Miller’s lack of objectivity towards what essentially was a fair play.