Ryan Miller run over by Jordan Tootoo in first game back

Ryan Miller returned to the lineup last night after missing a month of action thanks to a concussion sustained during his run-in with Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic. However, it appears as if open season on the Buffalo Sabres goalie may have continued into last night as Miller had yet another run in, this time with Nashville Predators forward Jordan Tootoo, who seemingly drives the net hard and then leaps into Miller. Miller responds quickly to the incident and climbs on top of Tootoo and throws a few good lefts at his head. The rest of the Sabres players on the ice come to the aid of their goalie and get involved in the scrum as well.

This video can be viewed two ways. First is the obvious conclusion. Tootoo, known for being a gritty player who plays on the edge, saw the opportunity to run Miller and took full advantage of it. The other view is that Tootoo simply couldn’t stop after being shoved from behind by Sabres defender Christian Ehrhoff and tried to leap over Miller and avoid contact.

Personally, I think it’s a bit of both. Tootoo sees the opportunity to drive the net hard and obviously takes it. He receives the shove from Ehrhoff and loses the puck and has enough time to pick up his head and see that he is about to collide with Miller. Tootoo leaving his feet seems to be a result of the collision with Miller, not a conscious effort to avoid Miller. In fact, looking at the slow motion replays in the video, there appears to be no effort to avoid the collision at all.

Tootoo was assessed with a game misconduct on the play. Miller stayed in the game and the Sabres ended up beating the Predators 3-2.

What do you think? Did Tootoo run Miller on purpose or was the collision purely a result of Tootoo being unable to avoid contact?





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