No matter what the NHL decided to do with Milan Lucic after his run at Ryan Miller — and the League decided not to suspend the Boston Bruins forward on Monday afternoon — there were going to be aftershocks for both the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres.
The first shot was fired before Lucic's decision was rendered via Sabres Coach Lindy Ruff, who said after Buffalo's practice:
"If he isn't suspended, it just means teams will be able to do exactly what Lucic did," Ruff said.
"Their goaltender can play the puck, we can run him over. We can hurt him and all you get is a two-minute minor penalty. That's essentially what that means. You can concuss the other team's goaltender. You can run him going at whatever speed he was going. He made no attempt to get out of the way. It means it's fair game on goaltenders."
Ruff's statement would seem to infer that a Lucic suspension would somehow make it closed season on goaltenders, much like how James Wisniewski's suspension in September prevented there being another hit to the head in the NHL this … oh, right, about that.
If nothing else, these comments make us really excited about next Wednesday's rematch in Buffalo. Not that we think anything will go down, because the NHL is going to make it explicitly clear that nothing will go down; but, on the off-chance Patrick Kaleta decides to barrel into Tim Thomas, it'll be interesting to see how Thomas plans to murder him.
Speaking of taking the high road, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli issued a statement on the NHL's decision and it's pretty much the most sarcastic thing to emerge from the mind of a GM since Glen Sather trolled Flyers fans at the Winter Classic presser:
"We are satisfied with the NHL's announcement that there will be no suspension or fine for Milan, and we respect the process that the League took to reach this decision. I am also proud that Milan took the high road, and chose not to engage in an exchange of words after the unfortunate comments that were made about him following the game."
This is, of course, in reference to Miller calling Lucic a piece of feces after the game.
"Correction on the 50 pounds. I think I'm 60 pounds heavier than him. So that's one point. [Laughter]. Actually, he wanted to stick around and say what he said. I'm not the guy that talks trash in the media and stir things up. If I want to talk trash, I'll do it on the ice so he can hear it directly."