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What will come of Tootoo’s hit on Ryan Miller?

Here’s the deal. We’re all Nashville Predators fans. That’s fine. But just because we want our team to win doesn’t mean everything they do is correct.

Take Jordin Tootoo‘s hit Saturday night on Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, for example. As you’ll see in the video below (stick tap to On the Forecheck’s Sam Page), while Tootoo drives to the net (which is perfectly legal, by the way) Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff attempts to poke check the puck away. He fails but the puck slides off of Tootoo’s stick anyway.

Here’s where it goes down hill.

As you’ll also see, Tootoo runs over Miller with little attempt to get out of the way. Several fans have argued that his “trying to jump over Miller” is an attempt but that’s not at all realistic unless he’s Michael Jordan or Spud Webb. Head Coach Barry Trotz subscribed to this theory, however.

“He tried to avoid him in my estimation,” Trotz said. “(Tootoo) launched himself to avoid (Miller). That’s the only way to do that. I thought it was a hockey play that sorta went awry.”

Buffalo’s Lindy Ruff disagreed.

“You get a guy that comes off a concussion, and you’ve got Jordin Tootoo,” Ruff said. “I want to see what the league wants to do with this one. It’s a joke.”

Secondly, you’ll notice that Ehrhoff doesn’t push Tootoo into Miller. His right arm is wrapped around him thanks to the natural progression of his attempted poke-check. Thirdly, Ehrhoff does not extend his arms toward Tootoo, thus did not push him.


Tootoo absolutely cannot run a goaltender, let alone a star goaltender like Miller. What’s more is that this was Miller’s first appearance since being bowled over by Boston’s Milan Lucic on November 12. He suffered a concussion on that play and has missed just short of a month of action.

Does Trotz expect to hear from the league?

“Honestly, I don’t think so because I really think it was a hockey play but it is Jordin Tootoo and it is Ryan Miller,” Trotz said. “I think they’ll look at it and see that there’s nothing malicious.”

Um… we’ll just see about that.

Bottom line is Tootoo is probably looking at a suspension for his hit on Miller, regardless of what his coach says. Given that Tootoo is a known agitator, a repeat offender and has a tendency to be reckless at times. But that’s not the only reason. As Ruff eluded to in his comments, Miller just returned from a concussion, which is atop the list of “hot topics” when it comes to the league and player safety. NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Development and head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan will no doubt want to make an example out of Tootoo.

Regardless of whether you think it was intentional or not, expect a five game suspension.

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Nicholson // special to (used with permission)


  1. piratesneedlove

    December 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    The @PredFans twitter was exploding with people defending Tootoo, but honestly, the more I watch, the more I see it was less accidental and more intentional.

    There is no way that Erhoff was pushing Tootoo. At all.

  2. Eatout

    December 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I was at the game and thought tootoo was pushed into miller. Seeing I grew up near Buffalo (and have been a life long Sabres fan until the Preds came) my brother called and was talking how dirty tootoo is. Of course, I defended him until I got home and saw the call. Enjoy your time off Jordin.

  3. MaASInsomnia

    December 3, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m not entirely sure how you think Tootoo was going to avoid Miller with Ernhoff’s stick wrapped around him. The only way Tootoo gets any farther to the right of Miller is if he takes Ernhoff’s arm with him. Are you saying he should have ducked to the left, the way Ernhoff is pushing him?

    • Eatout

      December 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm


    • Eatout

      December 3, 2011 at 11:09 pm


    • Eatout

      December 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      @MaASInsomnia if he didn’t leave his skates, it might be different

      • MaASInsomnia

        December 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm

        @Eatout I don’t get your logic there. I’ve seen Tootoo more or less leap over goal-tenders in the past. I believe I remember it happening last season.That still doesn’t answer the question of how you think Tootoo was going to avoid Miller. Another video of the hit from a different angle. Again, based on momentum and Ernhoff’s hook, where exactly was Tootoo going to go? Am I missing something?

        • Eatout

          December 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm

          @MaASInsomnia may gosh ma, I am a Preds fan and a tootoo fan, but the link you posted sure doesn’t help me think that Jordin wasn’t trying to stir it up. Who sang rose colored glasses??

        • MaASInsomnia

          December 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm

          @[email protected] You still haven’t answered the question about where you think Tootoo’s going to go, and you’re obviously not going to. I know when I’m being trolled.

        • Eatout

          December 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm

          @MaASInsomnia not leave his freaking skates!!!

        • Eatout

          December 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm

          @MaASInsomnia better yet, don’t launch yourself into a goalie that is coming off a concussion layoff by

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  5. MarkAHollingsworth

    December 4, 2011 at 8:57 am

    This isn’t as clear as some people are making it. Tootoo didn’t jump until the moment the collision was happening. It could’ve been even worse of Miller had Tootoo NOT jumped (he probably would’ve been driven hard into the pipes). Additionally, Erhoff’s move could certainly be construed as a push. Miller should’ve been penalized as well for throwing punches.

  6. Weintraut

    December 4, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I’ve got to agree with Trotz on this one.. Tootoo had no place to go, and if he had wanted to ram the goaltender, he could have done a LOT worse, it really looks to me that he was trying to avoid Miller. However I agree with you that the league probably won’t see it that way.. It will be interesting..

  7. Five Minute Major

    December 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Wrong, wrong wrong! Tootoo got HOOKED by Ehrhoff’s attempted poke check which causes his body to twist to the right (look at the still from the collision) and the force of the contact from Ehrhoff changed his trajectory when he leapt. If you look at Tootoos skates prior to Ehrhoffs contact, he’s heading for the front of the net. It’s only after Ehrhoff made contact (and kept in contact through the collision) that his direction changed. Where did Ehrhoffs stick wind up? He didn’t let go of it till well after the collision. I think Tootoos’ intention was to “get skinny” and scoot by Miller after the initial play was broken up. Also, Tootoo does NOT have a reputation of running goalies. Prima donna forwards maybe, but not goalies. A five game suspension will be WAY over the top. But, the legend of Jordin Tootoo is greater than the reality.

  8. Weintraut

    December 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    “I think Tootoos’ intention was to “get skinny” and scoot by Miller”

    That is exactly what it looked like to me.. I was at the game, had a good view, and have looked at many of the replays.

    • Melissa1008

      December 5, 2011 at 8:54 am

      @Weintraut I was at the game as well………..7 rows up……the play happened right in front of me………… was intentional…………..watched it again when I got home, Tootoo should be suspended and fined! I am a Buffalo fan…….would have come over the glass if Buffalo didn’t react to it! They did what they should have and now Shanahan must as well!

  9. Weintraut

    December 5, 2011 at 9:05 am

    It’s obvious we saw the play differently.. because we’re fans of different teams? Probably. I will be surprised if Tootoo isn’t suspended, but believe it will be more on “reputation”, and the fact the play involved a goalie, than what happened on this particular play.. I don’t think it will be a HUGE suspension because I still believe Tootoo saw what was going to happen, and tried to soften the blow. We’ll leave that up to Sheriff Shanahan..

  10. LynneBlais

    December 5, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Seriously? Really I think you people need a physics lesson. it only takes less then two pounds of pressure to act upon a object in motion on the ice and change it’s direction. An object in motion stays in motion until it is acted upon. Had Erhoff kept his ruddy stick and hands off Tootoo. Toot’s wound have NEVER hit the goalie and would have been able to turn off to the side of the net…..I’m sorry Erhoff should have time in the box. Miller should have been pulled off the ice and out of the game. I don’t care what happen last game. If he’s too fragile to take a hit or someone bumping into him stay off the ice.

  11. Weintraut

    December 6, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I’ll have to say, I didn’t see much of a push, or hook.. just a play where Tootoo was going hard to the net, was being pressured, ran out of room and ran into the goalie.. Even Miller in an interview after the game said you can’t blame a player for going hard to the net.. I think Tootoo tried to lessen the blow, others don’t..

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