Buffalo Sabres Alumni: All Is Not Lost For Ryan Miller


Part of me is really happy that the Buffalo Sabres alum Ryan Miller was bounced out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first round for the second straight year in a row.

Another part me of, the part of me that loves goaltenders, that loves the position, and the part of me that wants to see good players succeed, wants you to give Ryan Miller another chance before you completely write him off as a goaltender that can’t win the big game.

It isn’t a secret that Ryan Miller hasn’t been able to win the big game so far in his career, or be the man his team could rely on to carry them in a series or a must win situation.  Let’s go over the list:

Olympics, 2010 Vancouver, 2014 Sochi

With the gold medal on the line, in overtime, Ryan Miller gives up a weak goal to Sidney Crosby who becomes much more than the household name that he already is.

How would things have played out differently for Ryan Miller or even Team USA? At the 2014 Olympics – Ryan Miller was relegated to watching the games as a backup goaltender, only appearing in one game during the Sochi games, posting a 5-1 win over Slovenia.

Buffalo Sabres Big Games

Ryan Miller was never able to lead the Buffalo Sabres to the Stanley Cup Finals.  He helped the team to the Conference Finals in both the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons, but both years the Sabres were dropped in the conference finals.

His only other two playoff appearances were first round losses, similar to what he suffered in St. Louis last season, and Vancouver this season.

The Buffalo Sabres loses in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 were not entirely his fault however, and I don’t think he was much help for the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks.

St. Louis Blues Mental State

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Former Ohio State Football player Ryan Miller takes flight with the Blue Angels
Former Ohio State Football player Ryan Miller takes flight with the Blue Angels /

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  • For Ryan Miller, who is a very psychological goaltender, the move to St. Louis had to be emotionally draining for him.  For so long in Buffalo he was the center of attention, the focal point of the media, and he carried that weight around with him.

    Once traded to St. Louis – he showed remarkable poise in helping them get into the post season, however he was not able to manage anything in the post season, offering a subpar performance.  Did he still have lingering thoughts on his time in Buffalo that damaged his psyche?  I have no doubt in my mind that he did, and that had a direct impact on his play.

    In the off season he made the move further West, signing with the Vancouver Canucks.  An injury, a new baby – all things that were on the mind of Ryan Miller.  The Canucks aren’t a team built for the post season.

    Ryan Miller may never be a goaltender that a team can rely on in the post season – some guys are just like that.  Maybe next season will be better for Ryan Miller, but time is running out on his career – and he will always have that hanging over his head.

    Next: The Dust Has Settled On The Sabres 2014-2015 Season - Favorite Moments

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