NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2011.

In today’s roundup of notable NHL morning headlines:  Milan Lucic bowls over Ryan Miller in Bruins victory over Sabres…Duncan Keith’s return bolsters Blackhawks offense…Mike Smith backstops Coyotes to victory over the Sharks…Capitals lose another defenseman to injury…Ducks Visnovsky sidelined…Is NHL’s head shot policy working?…NHLPA finds more teams with unreported revenue.


Miller angry at Lucic over this hit.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Boston Bruins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 6-2, but more notable was Bruins forward Milan Lucic running over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller in a race for the puck at 6.48 of the first period. Miller was unable to play in the third period, and had harsh words for Lucic, calling the Bruins forward “gutless” and ” a piece of s**t”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on what type of injury Miller suffered or how serious it was. As for the hit, Lucic deserved to be penalized as he could’ve avoided hitting Miller if he wanted to, but Miller also has to be aware that you run the risk of getting hit if you venture out of your crease to play the puck. Lucic however had better be careful not to start making this a habit, because other clubs won’t respond as meekly as the Sabres did to this.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The return from injury of Duncan Keith to the Blackhawks defense has improved the Blackhawks offensive production over their last two games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keith is the linchpin of the Blackhawks defense and a major part of their offensive game. The difference in the Blackhawks when he was out of the lineup was very noticeable.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Goaltender Mike Smith made 31 saves backstopping the Phoenix Coyotes to a 3-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ilya who? With each passing game, Smith is making Coyotes fans forget about the departed Ilya Bryzgalov, as well as destroying the myth the Coyotes would struggle with Brygalov now playing in Philadelphia. Compare Smith’s stats with Brygalov’s. So far, there’s no doubt who the better goalie is.

WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals lost their second defenseman to injury in as many games, with Roman Hamrlik now day-to-day following an undisclosed injury in the Capitals 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Blueliner Mike Green is also out of the lineup.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens reports Anaheim Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovky will miss four weeks to a broken finger on his right hand after blocking a shot in the Ducks 4-3 win on Friday over Vancouver.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports the fears of those who claimed the NHL’s new policy on targeted hits to the head could result in a reduction of hitting have so far proven groundless, as the number of hits is down by a miniscule 0.98 percent. There’s no figures currently on the amount of targeted hits to the head which have been reduced, but it’s believed down by a significant amount.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, so good for the league’s efforts to reduce head shots. I’d be more interested, however, in seeing what the data will be on hits and targeted hits to the head at season’s end.

NEW YORK POST: The NHLPA, for the first time, has been auditing select NHL teams, and sources say they may have found unreported revenue from several teams, with Washington and Nashville among those teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Incredibly, this is the first time the PA has exercised its right under the CBA to audit select teams for unreported revenue, the reason apparently because PA director Donald Fehr, who took over the role late in 2010, was the first to exercise that right. Those pundits who fear another lockout might try to paint this as Fehr’s way of saber-rattling before the next round of CBA talks.


  1. It seems to me that there’s been a higher than usual number of ‘accidental’ collisions involving goalies so far this season. I wonder if it’s the result of d-men being afraid of taking obstruction etc. penalties and/or forwards that aren’t afraid of retribution? The goalie is kind of like a football quarterback, they need protection. Either the league provides it or the players will have to take care of it themselves.

  2. Lucic deserved the charging penalty, but goalies should be aware they run the risk of body contact outside the crease. Had it not been a late hit, the league should allow it. Stay in the paint if you’re craven. I don’t really care for Miller’s comments either. As long as he’s not hurt, it’s about time someone took him down a peg

  3. This is the first time the NHLPA has ever exercised their right to audit teams for unreported revenue?? That’s unbelievable! I do not think there will be another lockout, but for the players sake I am happy that they have Fehr to help ensure they get the best deal possible and at least attempt to keep the leauge/team owners honest!

  4. I’m pretty sure we all played hockey at some point and we all know that you can’t hit the goalie. Lucic is just that type of player. He hits from behind, punches only when refs are between him and the other player, and now it appears that he head hunts world beater goaltenders. Guys a clown. I love the nickname Lu-sh!t and luchiken. Lol. But they are led by a captain who boldly made a million excuses on camera for breaking a guys neck ranging from “i was going so fast I didn’t know where I was” to “well the player jumped while I hit him”. Good thing Daddy Campbell pulled every string he had last year to get them that cup. I would absolutely cherish a highlight that showed a teams 6’3″ head smash Tim Thomas behind the net and put him out. Let’s see what the reaction from Boston would be then and if they would accept “I was going full speed and didn’t have time to stop” and ” I had my head down from the blue line in and didn’t see him unroll the last second”. That team stillcant own up and be mentor their actions and face ehatever fallout they incur from it. Miller is completely right, he’s gutless and a piece of sh!t.

  5. Chicago had better hope Keith stays healthy as his recent injury only highlights how much they miss the secondary offence (speed) Campbell brought (horrific contract though) that Montador and O’Donnell can’t replace.
    this is the second time this season an opposing teams goalie has called out a Bruins forward for classless play (Carolina’s Ward called out Chara for attacking a player 5 inches & 45lbs smaller and basically sucker punching him ). it’s illegal to hit a goalie and Lucic had plenty of time to avoid him but it was his attitude after the game where he was smirking about it claiming he couldn’t avoid Miller but saying that his team wouldn’t let anyone get away with doing that to their goaltender. i hope Shanahan throws the book at him but he probably won’t, the Bruins will probably have to actually kill someone on the ice before the league suspends a Bruins player.

  6. From the start of the first period on….Lucic was looking to get something started. It was a cheap shot, but even more disturbing was the response or lack thereof from the Sabres. Sadly, the Sabres did not stand up for their goalie and they hardly ever stand up for any of their other players who are challenged. That is the problem. I realize the intent of not taking cheap penalties, but some penalties need to be taken to get the message across that a team won’t be pushed around.

  7. So, Spector, goalies are fair game outside of the box?

    As for the Sabres response, perhaps they’ve been reading this site too much, “maybe this, or maybe the exact opposite”. It’s not just the guys on skates who can be cowardly.

  8. Griswel: I don’t believe I said goalies were “fair game outside of the box”, now did I? Nor did I call the Sabres “cowardly”. Get your facts straight.

  9. I love how Lucic is getting dumped on.. sure he hit Miller, 2 minute charging penalty will suffice.. No one is talking about Miller’s attempt to swing his stick back at Lucic afterwards.. Also, and correct me if I’m wrong here Specter, but currently Goaltender helmets are currently not regulated.. and maybe it is time the league gets these guys some proper equipment.

  10. Actually Lyle, that’s pretty much exactly what you said:

    ” Miller also has to be aware that you run the risk of getting hit if you venture out of your crease”
    ” other clubs won’t respond as meekly as the Sabres did ”

    If you were not trying to say that goalies are fair game when they leave the crease and that the Sabres are cowards what exactly were you trying to say with those comments?

  11. monashee maniac: That’s not what I said at all. I said Miller has to be aware that he runs the risk of getting hit by venturing out of his crease. Where, anywhere in that sentence, do I say goalies were fair game outside the box? Nowhere. I said Miller had to be aware that he runs the risk of getting hit. I never said he was fair game.

    Also, I never said the Sabres acted in a cowardly manner, rather than their response was a meek one. Hell, their own coach and GM took them to task for that! In fact, if you read the article, Vogl wrote the rule of old-time hockey – protect the goalie at all costs – didn’t apply to the Sabres, and Paul Gaustad and Tyler Myers agreed their response wasn’t the right one. In other words, it was a meek response.

  12. For those of you who equate “meekly” with “cowardly”, here’s a little help in determining the difference between the two.

    “Meekly” – adjective: 1. humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others.
    overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.
    Obsolete. gentle; kind.

    “Cowardly” – Adjective: 1. lacking courage; contemptibly timid.
    characteristic of or befitting a coward; despicably mean, covert, or unprincipled: a cowardly attack on a weak, defenseless man.

    I trust that clears that up. Here endeth the lesson. Class dismissed…;)

  13. Thanks for the semantics lesson

  14. I guess that means Lucic was the coward, right?

  15. monashee maniac: Glad to help, as you and Grimwel were obviously confused by the definition of “meekly”. As for Lucic, if you want to call him a coward, be my guest…;)

  16. Whatever you need to do to justify Lucic’s hit. BTW, according to you, Lucic is a coward.

    ” a cowardly attack on a weak, defenseless man”

  17. Or are you seriously going to try to defend Lucic and say that the contact was accidental?

  18. monashee: Where did I “defend” Lucic and say the contact was accidental?

  19. And where did I “justify” Lucic’s hit? Once again, it’s you who are misinterpreting what was written.