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The Sabres Observer

Miller Proving Critics Wrong, Again

Hard to believe, but its been almost three weeks since Ryan Miller gave up seven goals to the Islanders in that dreadful game that stirred up some emotions and spirited debate in Buffalo.

The smarter fans and media wanted to see the reigning Vezina Trophy winner have a game off.  The crazy ones wanted to have a discussion about trading him.

Since then, all Miller has done over seven consecutive games is compile a 1.85 GAA and .944 save percentage.  He allowed two goals or less in all of those games, and was selected as one of the three stars in five of them. 

His performance in last night’s 3-2 win, against an injury depleted New York Rangers team, amounted to highway robbery.

For all that he’s accomplished in his career, a lot of fans in these parts still take Miller for granted.  He’s referred to as just an above average goaltender who isn’t capable of single-handedly stealing wins.  I’d like to know which hockey games these people were watching in the first half of the 2009-10 season, for starters.

This isn’t the first time he’s defied his critics.  Many thought of him as merely a beneficiary of the offensive minded Briere-Drury teams.  Two years ago people questioned his durability.  That was before he played 69 games, with six more to boot during an emotionally draining Olympic tournament, in his Vezina season.

We’re talking about an elite netminder who statistically overall is having a rough 2010-11 campaign, due in large part to early season injuries and a group of blueliners that turn the process of clean defensive zone breakouts into an adventure on an almost nightly basis.

Since being in double digits out of a playoff spot on New Years Eve, Buffalo is on a 16-7-3 run.  Their above average goaltender has been in the net for 15 of those wins.  The Sabres are going nowhere without him, and it’s starting to get interesting picturing where they could go with him.

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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.

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Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]