SEASON REWIND: RYAN MILLER
Thursday, 05.19.2011 / 11:30 AM / Features
By Rob Crean - Web Content Coordinator
|Ryan Miller (Photo: Bill Wippert)|
Miller helped guide the Sabres to a Stanley Cup Playoff berth by posting a 34-22-8 record this season, including a 21-10-5 mark in his 36 decisions after the New Year. By winning 34 games this year, Miller posted his sixth consecutive 30+ win season, making him just the eighth goalie in NHL history to post 30 or more victories in at least six straight seasons. He joined a list of elite goaltenders who have accomplished the feat: Martin Brodeur (12 straight 30+ win seasons), Patrick Roy (8), Tony Esposito (7), Jacques Plante (6), Marty Turco (6), Henrik Lundqvist (6) and Mikka Kiprusoff (6).
LITTLE MARGIN FOR ERROR:
Not once but twice during the playoffs, Miller led the Sabres to a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. He made 35 saves in a Game 1 shutout and 32 saves in a Game 4 shutout, including a pair of highlight-reel stops in the third period (see videos below) to secure that series-tying win. Miller became the first NHL goalie to notch two 1-0 victories in the same playoff series since Calgary’s Mikka Kiprusoff did it against Detroit in 2004. Miller is also now just the third Sabres goaltender to post two shutouts in one series, joining Bob Sauve (1983 vs. Montreal) and Dominik Hasek (1994 vs. New Jersey).
Miller was named one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week on two occasions this past season. He was named the League’s Second Star for the week ending Dec. 5 after posting shutouts on back-to-back days, stopping all 51 shots he faced in wins over Columbus (19 saves) and Ottawa (32 saves). It marked the third time in his career that he posted shutouts in two consecutive games. Miller earned First Star of the Week honors for the week ending Mar. 27 after posting a 3-0-0 record with a 0.67 GAA, a .976 SV% and one shutout during a crucial stretch of games for Buffalo late in the season, with wins over Montreal, Florida and New Jersey.
MOVING UP THE RANKS:
The 2010-11 campaign was Miller’s sixth full season as the Sabres’ starting netminder, and the Vezina Trophy winner is consistently climbing up the franchise leader boards. Miller ranks second behind only Dominik Hasek in wins (221, just 13 behind Hasek), games (399), shutouts (22), and minutes played (23,438). Among Sabres goalies who have played at least 100 games, Miller ranks 3rd with a 2.57 career goals-against average.
BY THE NUMBERS...
|Photo: Ryan Miller
Miller recorded a career-best shutout streak of 161:35 on the strength of back-to-back-shutouts on Dec. 3 (vs. CBJ) and Dec. 4 (at OTT). In total, the streak covered four games, from Nov. 27 to Dec. 7.
Miller won his 200th career NHL game on Dec. 28 at Edmonton to join Hasek (234 career wins for Buffalo) as the only goalies in franchise history to surpass the 200-win milestone. Miller also became the 67th goalie in NHL history to reach 200 wins, and did so in just 353 starts, making him the 10th fastest to reach the milestone.
For the third straight season, Miller finished with a career-high five shutouts.
Miller started in goal for Buffalo in 31 consecutive games, a streak that spanned from Nov. 26 to Feb. 13. It marked the second-longest consecutive starts streak of his career, leaving him three shy of matching his 34 straight starts near the end of the 2007-08 campaign. During this season’s stretch of 31 consecutive starts, Miller guided the Sabres to a record of 18-9-3 while posting a 2.81 GAA, a .910 SV% and three shutouts.
Here's a look at three of Miller's signature saves from the 2010-11 campaign - his sprawling glove save on a Nicklas Backstrom shot back on Feb. 20, and two saves (one on Danny Briere, the other on Mike Richards) he made in the third period of Game 4 vs. Philadelphia to preserve a 1-0 shutout: