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Ryan Miller: ‘I didn’t know [Bruins] were all doctors’ 11.15.11 at 3:06 pm ET
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Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller spoke to Buffalo reporters Tuesday, and touched on both his physical condition and his reaction to the lack of suspension of Bruins forward Milan Lucic.

Miller suffered a concussion Saturday night when Lucic hit him in the Sabres’ zone after the two were racing for the puck.

“I’€™m not as well as I’€™d like to be, but considering, I feel alright,” Miller said. “My neck is pretty sore. I’€™m trying to figure out if that’€™s more of a source of headaches or if what I’€™m really feeling was my head really started hurting.

“You always are concerned. Last year I thought I had a very simple ‘€˜get your bell rung,’€™ and I missed five games. This, I don’€™t know how to put a timeline on it, but I am encouraged that my neck feels better. Once that really feels good, I can start to make my way back.”

Lucic said Monday that he was “surprised” to hear that Miller had a concussion because contact was never made with the head on the play. He added that Miller could have perhaps suffered the injury later in the period when Tyler Seguin crashed into the net. Miller isn’t the biggest Lucic fan out there, so he was rubbed the wrong way the remarks.

“The one thing I was disappointed with the assessment or what came out of Boston and some of what came out of the league was it wasn’€™t a head shot, so that was their conclusion to why the concussion maybe didn’€™t come from that,” he said. “I didn’€™t know they were all doctors. Concussions are caused by many things, one of them including a whiplash motion that sends your brain moving laterally or however you’€™re hit. It doesn’€™t need to be a direct impact. That fact alone, I’€™m rolling my eyes.”

The two teams will meet again a week from Wednesday.

Read More: Milan Lucic, Ryan Miller,
Daniel Paille feels he’s inching closer to a return 11.15.11 at 1:58 pm ET
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The swelling has gone down, and now Daniel Paille feels he’s closer to returning to game action. Nevermind the fact that he’s just eight days removed from getting hit in the face with a slapshot.

“It’s improving a lot. I’m able to breathe through my nostrils now, so it’s a lot easier to skate,” Paille said after taking part in Tuesday’s morning skate. Tomorrow it should be completely clear and hopefully I get a quick recovery after that.”

Paille said that he could potentially play Thursday against the Blue Jackets.

“I think it’s a possibility,” he said. It also depends on the coaches, too. I know I’m able to play, but not quite 100 percent yet. Hopefully in a couple of days I am.”

The fourth-line winger has been wearing a full cage, something he said last week he would have to wear for a month. He’s taken a page out of Chris Kelly‘s book by wearing a cage that has the inside painted white so it doesn’t obstruct his vision as much.

As for how he feels, Paille, who is still bruised badly bud got the packing out of his nose this week, hasn’t had much difficulty physically.

“I haven’t really been bumped too hard, but I had a couple of bumps in practice the other day, and it felt good. My helmet went back a couple times, and it didn’t bother me at all,” he said. “I feel like it’s a positive thing right now, but we’ll see a little more tomorrow morning after practice when everything’s out.”

Read More: Daniel Paille,
Claude Julien: If Milan Lucic wanted to hit Ryan Miller, ‘he would have never got up’ 11.15.11 at 11:59 am ET
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Call this a case of keeping the book on the Milan Lucic/Ryan Miller hit open just a little longer.

Claude Julien said after Tuesday’s morning skate that the team was “convinced” Lucic’s hit on Miller “wasn’t deliberate” and were therefore pleased with Brendan Shanahan‘s decision to not suspend the forward.

Julien said that he doesn’t believe goalies should be hit, but noted the difference between a hit and a collision. He believed Saturday’s incident was a collision.

“I know for a fact that if Milan had intended on hitting [Miller], he would have never got up,” Julien said of Lucic. “We all know how hard he hits. It speaks for itself.”

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Claude Julien,
Andrew Ference takes the ice 11.15.11 at 11:50 am ET
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Andrew Ference did not participate in the Bruins’ morning skate Tuesday, but the injured defenseman did return to the ice prior to the skate. Ference left Thursday’s game against the Oilers with a lower-body injury and did not play Saturday night. Claude Julien had said the defenseman was close to skating again Monday, and was glad to see him progress on Tuesday.

“He skated, and it’s his first game of skating,” Julien said. “‘€¦ He’s come along, so he started saint again today. Hopefully he’ll progress. ‘€¦ He becomes day-to-day the minute he steps on the ice.”

Julien hadn’t yet spoken to trainers about Ference on Tuesday, but said he might know by Tuesday night whether Ference might practice with the team on Wednesday.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Claude Julien,
Closing the book on the Milan Lucic/Ryan Miller hit… for now 11.15.11 at 1:50 am ET
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When word came down Sunday night that Milan Lucic had been called to the proverbial principal’s office for his hit on Sabres’ goaltender Ryan Miller, there were different reactions from different places. It kept what’s been an interesting conversation going just a little bit longer, and while the conversation can stop for now, you have to imagine both teams have Nov. 23 circled.

While Bruins fans were surprised that Brendan Shanahan would consider suspending Lucic for the play, it seems non-Bruins fans were rooting for the B’s to get their comeuppance.

In the end, Shanahan opted against suspending Lucic, saying he found out all he needed to regarding intent on a play in which the two players were racing for a puck in the Sabres’ zone. The lack of suspension means the red-hot Bruins can breathe a sigh of relief, and it likely gives the Sabres all the more motivation to respond when the teams meet a week from Wednesday in Buffalo. Things figure to get more interesting than they already are.

The play itself remains a popular topic of debate. Lucic was chasing the puck after blocking a shot, but Miller came way out of his net to clear it before getting hit. One popular line of thinking among fans around the net was that Miller shouldn’t have come so far out of the net, as skating that far out makes him fair game.

The response to that, of course, is a simple, “um’€¦ no.” As Rule 42.1 (charging) states, “a goalkeeper is not ‘fair game’ just because he is outside the goal crease area.” As such, Lucic was assessed the correct penalty when the refs sent him to the box for two minutes on a charging call.

Then there’s the picture that a disciplinary hearing paints for Lucic. The left wing prides himself on being a power forward who has no shortage of grit or offensive skill, but such hearings are never a good thing. While he is not a dirty player, this wasn’t the first time he found himself being criticized for an ill-advised play. The one suspension of Lucic’s career came in Game 2 of the first round against the Habs in 2009, when Lucic cross-checked Maxim Lapierre in the head. More recently, his punch to the head of then-Thrashers defenseman Freddy Meyer last season (which did follow a high hit from Meyer and got him a match penalty and an automatic hearing) last December and a sucker-punch to Lightning blueliner Victor Hedman in Game 1 of the conference finals a season ago provide Lucic-bashers with plenty of ammunition.

Claude Julien defended Lucic Monday, saying the 23-year-old goes hard at all times, so much so that he accidentally did the same thing to coach Geoff Ward in a practice last season, knocking Ward down much like he did to Miller.

As for the Sabres, it seems they can’t catch a break. With Miller out with a concussion, Jhonas Enroth started in his place Monday night and was knocked down when Habs defenseman Erik Cole hit him in the crease. Cole was assessed an interference minor, while the entire Sabres’ bench was likely scratching their heads over the luck of their netminders.

Regardless of who’s in net on the 23rd, things figure to be interesting. Tim Thomas admitted Saturday that he was on his toes following the Lucic hit, as he thought a Sabres player might take a run at him. After the Sabres failed to respond at all Saturday, one would think they’ll try to correct that in the next meeting.

For now, the book can be closed on the matter, but next Wednesday figures to be a different story.

Read More: Milan Lucic, Ryan Miller,
Ryan Spooner named OHL Player of the Week 11.14.11 at 7:39 pm ET
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Kingston forward Ryan Spooner was named the OHL Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 7-13 on Monday. Spooner, a second-round pick of the Bruins in the 2010 draft, had 10 points over three games during the week.

The standout performance in the brilliant week for the 19-year-old was a five-point night against Saginaw Sunday in which he scored a shorthanded goal and contributed four assists, thus factoring into all five of the Frontenacs’ goals in the 5-3 win.

Spooner is among the Bruins’ brightest prospects, and joins Dougie Hamilton (Niagara), Jared Knight (London) and Alexander Khokhlachev (Windsor) as B’s prospects currently having big seasons in the OHL.

Read More: Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner,
Milan Lucic won’t be suspended for hit on Ryan Miller 11.14.11 at 3:48 pm ET
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Bruins forward Milan Lucic will not be suspended or fined after his hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan Monday. Lucic had a phone hearing with Shanahan over his first-period hit on Sabres goalie Ryan Miller in Saturday’s game.

“I had the hearing because I did make an initial assessment of the play as I do with all plays, but I did have some questions for Milan and I wanted to hear directly from him,” Shanahan told NHL.com following the hearing. “They were regarding his intent; at what point did he know there was going to be a collision; and whether or not he felt he had the time to avoid the collision. I was satisfied with his answers.”

Lucic was given a charging minor for the play in which he and Miller were chasing a puck in Sabres’ zone. Miller got there first and cleared the puck, but Lucic followed through with his hit. Shanahan said the call made on the ice was the correct one given that Rule 42.1 states “a goalkeeper is not fair game just because he is outside the goal crease area.”

Read More: Milan Lucic, Ryan Miller,
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