We suspected it earlier, and now it’s been made official — Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller suffered a concussion after being hit by Boston’s Milan Lucic in a 6-2 loss last night. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN got confirmation this evening from Sabres GM Darcy Regier, who said via text that Miller will be out indefinitely.
The news caps off a disastrous weekend for Buffalo. The Sabres spent much of yesterday publicly airing their grievances with Lucic, the officiating crew that worked last night’s game and eventually, themselves — center Paul Gaustad was openly critical of the way he and teammates failed to respond to their goalie getting bowled over.
That frustration spilled over to today, when a clearly-agitated Lindy Ruff balked on speaking with reporters after a team meeting, but not before muttering “F— the media.” He and Regier were tight-lipped for most of the day, although Regier later told the Buffalo News he felt the play warranted suspension.
“If this hit and other types of hits like this are not suspended, we are opening up the possibility of losing goaltenders to injury,” Regier said. “And not just injury, but concussion. … When I look at the position of goaltending, in a lot of ways it’s not unlike quarterback in football. I feel very strongly the protection has to be provided and players committing these types of action should be punished.”
Lucic received a two-minute charging minor on the play.
Upon announcing Miller would be out, the Sabres called up goalie Drew MacIntyre from AHL Rochester. He’s expected to back up Jhonas Enroth Monday night in Montreal.
UPDATE: TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports Lucic will have a hearing with NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan tomorrow (Monday) at 1pm ET.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: