This will be a brief series detailing the top 10 most frustrating Buffalo Sabres players since the last lockout. Here is #6, in my opinion…with Max Afinogenov at #10, Craig Rivet at #9, Ales Kotalik at #8, Andrej Sekera at #7, Shaone Morrisonn at #6, and Paul Gaustad at #5…
#4 – Ryan Miller
I would rather not get too deep into this selection, as any Sabres fan should know why Ryan Miller is one of the most frustrating Sabres players since the last lockout.
The 138th overall draft pick by Buffalo in 1999, Miller was the Hobey Baker winner for Michigan State after leading the country in wins, save-percentage, goals-against average, and shutouts. Miller then spent 3 solid seasons with Rochester, losing in the division finals in 2004-2005 against Manitoba.
Miller has now spent 7 seasons with the Sabres, never being able to get Buffalo into the Stanley Cup finals. The world audience watched his phenomenal 2009-2010 season, which not only included a Vezina Trophy win, but an incredible Olympics run in which team USA ultimately lost to Canada for the Gold. Miller was named tournament MVP. Miller was also the loser of the inaugural Winter Classic.
At this stage of his career, the question is becoming ‘can he win the big game?’ There is no question that Miller is tremendously talented. He is a fan favorite in Buffalo and beyond. Miller has been plagued with inconsistent stretches, mixed with flashes of brilliance, and this can frustrate any fan. Does Lindy Ruff play him too much? Can Miller not handle the pressures of a big game? Just before the “Milan Lucic Incident,” it was rumored that the Sabres were close to a trade that would ship Miller away to Anaheim. Fans pondered for most of the season the very question – would the Sabres minus Miller be a better team?
Ryan Miller is assuredly one of my favorite hockey players. Fun to watch, talented, leadership abilities, intelligence, and a level of honesty that is too abrasive for some…but on his off-nights, he can be harsh to watch.