Now I’m not going to take more than a paragraph or two to wrap up what happened because there’s a killer boxing match about to start involving “millions of hits,” so here goes:
Milan Lucic is the baddest talented hockey player since well-past John Leclair and Kevin Stevens, back to Cam Neely. What do all those players have in common? You don’t want to mess with them, and they can pretty much do what they want.
So Lucic running Miller is hardly a surprise. It was a charging penalty, mostly because Miller is a goalie and the officials needed to cover their bases by calling a foul. The Sabres immediate response to the offense was mostly fine in my book, given their personnel. Miller tried a blind baseball swing back at Lucic. Thomas Vanek tried to knock the train over. No dice. Andrej Sekera shoved Lucic and looked around for reinforcements. Not seeing any coming, he buried his head and hoped for the least beating possible. I’d like Paul Gaustad to look more interested in getting to Lucic, and maybe it’s above Tyler Myers’ weight class right now.
As for running Tim Thomas, whatever. Boston is built to beat the tar out of teams. The Sabres aren’t. Does it make them weaklings or cowards? That’s your call, but my opinion is you better be just as outraged when the Sabres’ Lucic makes it up to Buffalo. Zack Kassian will do the same thing, because he can back it up. Everyone needs a villain, and I’d trade half the Sabres for Milan Lucic right now.
So, the hit: Dirty? A little, but I’m not crying. There’s a part of me that wonders if the Sabres lack of response in these situations isn’t:
A) Ruff-driven post-Neil/Drury
It’s naive not to at least explore the thought, not that we’ll ever get an answer from the locker room or Miller.