The Sabres Observer
by @DaveDavisHockey on 04/09/11 at 11:44 AM ET
If there was any question about where Sabres goalie Ryan Miller stands in the view of his teammates, in the midst of the reigning Vezina Trophy winner’s subpar season, last night put it to bed. I’ll admit my jaw dropped when Miller, instead of Thomas Vanek, was voted by the Sabres players as team MVP.
All Vanek has done this season is take his all-around game to another level while battling to finish in the top 15 in the NHL scoring race (32 goals, 41 assists, 73 points), ahead of the likes of Patrick Kane, Joe Thornton, Daniel Briere and Jeff Carter. Miller statistically in 2010-11 isn’t even among the top 15 goaltenders.
And to top it all off, when a playoff berth-clinching game was on the line last night, coach Lindy Ruff’s decision to put Miller in to start the 3rd period preceded Buffalo coming back to defeat the Flyers 4-3 in overtime, even though the win was due in large part to a 3-point night and a dazzling game-winning goal by Vanek himself.
The moral of the story here is, despite the well deserved Jhonas Enroth lovefest in Buffalo over the past few weeks, the players in the locker room deep down still know on which side their bread is buttered. Anointing Miller as their MVP may have been a small gesture, but considering the season he’s had it sure was a big statement.
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About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]