Jordin Tootoo has polarized the hockey community yet again. So much so that I am coming out of blog sebatacle to weigh in.
There is no doubt in my mind that in Jordin Tootoo will be suspended for this play. Tootoo is a known agitator and a repeat offense. Not to mention it is Ryan Miller, team USA's number one goalie. Add on the fact that this was Miller's first game back from a concussion caused by a Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins, and Tootoo will get at least a couple of games.
However, does he deserve it? Milan Lucic was not suspended for his hit on Miller and there is no case for him. Tootoo has several things going for him if you watch the video. With his skates on edge and the angle he was coming towards the goal, Tootoo really had no opportunity to go to the back of the goal. With Erhoff, on his other side, Tootoo can't make a move to the front. He is left with one of two options, either run into the pole causing him self injury, or try and jump over Miller something that he has done successfully in the past. If you look at the video, Miller does not stay in position, he comes out of the butterfly to grab Tootoo causing the contact. I am not saying that Tootoo wouldn't have made contact if Miller had stayed in the butterfly, but I am saying that Miller could have possibly avoided the contact if he tried, but instead grabs Tootoo out of the air. Finally, if you watch the video, it looks as though Tootoo is trying to turn his back on Miller, which could be construed as trying to avoid contact as much as possible.
What I'm getting at is, yes, it was goalie interference. And yes, Tootoo left his feet so it was also charging. But Miller did not act appropriately and Gaustad definitely did not. This game is trying to get away from the image of goons, then look at Gaustad's reaction and do something about it. Tootoo was wrong, but Miller and Gaustad both deserved penalties on the play, and should also have their actions reviewed.