Thus spoke the Prophet Lindy Ruff, after Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins injured Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller on Saturday: "It means it's fair game on goaltenders."
On Monday night in overtime, Montreal Canadiens forward Erik Cole apparently tried to test that theory, entering the blue paint and skating through Jhonas Enroth:
Like Lucic, Cole was given a 2-minute minor; Lucic's was for charging against Miller, while Cole was given two for interference with the goaltender. The Sabres failed to convert on the ensuing power play. Buffalo won in the shootout, 3-2.
Enroth was asked about the Cole play after the win. In fact, he was asked if he "gave it a little extra" and flopped after contact. Enroth said:
"No. I think he was pretty close to me, and he shouldn't be in the crease. He had good speed and actually it hurt a little bit. But I'm fine now."
Another interesting Enroth reaction, this time to the NHL's decision not to suspend Lucic: When asked if that decision, and that hit, would make him more inclined to stay in the net and not play the puck, Enroth said, "No, not at all."
Meanwhile, his coach was asked about NHL Senior VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan calling Ruff's comments about fair game on goaltenders "irresponsible" on Monday.
Said Lindy Ruff: "I said what I said and I'm not going to back off from what I said. We're all disappointed, but that's in the past."