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Ryan Miller gets pulled early in second period

Jan 16, 2012, 9:18 PM EDT

Ryan Miller, Jhonas Enroth AP

Forgive some Buffalo Sabres fans if they’re having trouble remembering the goalie who won the 2010 Vezina Trophy and nearly won a gold medal for the United States.

Ryan Miller‘s among the many Buffalo Sabres who are struggling this season, but more often than not, a netminder’s issues are often the most obvious. The team’s franchise netminder was bounced from tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings after he allowed five goals on just 14 shots.

Lindy Ruff gave him that merciful hook 24:32 into the game, but this wasn’t the earliest he’s been pulled from a contest this season. Miller only made it through six minutes and 23 seconds of a Nov. 2 contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.

If the rest of the Sabres’ contest against Detroit goes as expected, Miller’s record will drop to 11-13-2. He came into Monday with the numbers of an average backup (.903 save percentage, 2.97 GAA) and those stats only figure to drop a bit more.

It’s unfair to blame Miller alone for this debacle of a season. He’s been bailing out Buffalo’s defense for years and it seems like the last couple campaigns have caught up with him.

Still, it’s tough not to wonder if some kind of change might happen if the slippage continues in Buffalo – even if Terry Pegula has been generous with excuses.

With that in mind, what would you do to fix this mess?

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 16, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Not making any rash spur-of-the-moment moves would be the most important thing here. Everyone calling for Miller to be traded is being ridiculous. The guy is just having a bad year and so is the rest of the team. Some guys may have to get traded, but Miller is the franchise and he should be allowed to ride things out and start fresh next season.

    • James O'Brien - Jan 16, 2012 at 10:39 PM

      Agreed, trading Miller wouldn’t be the right move – even if he does carry a hefty price tag.

  2. kiopta1 - Jan 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Wings are damn near unstoppable at home and poor Ryan’s D left him out to dry.

  3. eddieapoc - Jan 16, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Drew Miller wins this Miller Bowl. Better luck next time Ryan.

  4. travishenryskid - Jan 16, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Trade Miller. Fire Ruff.

  5. lordstanley716 - Jan 16, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    @MrMojoRisin are you high?!?!
    Let Miller ride it out?!?! The guy abandoned his team like the captain of a cruise ship off the coast of Italy after letting 5 goals in only 24 minutes and 14 shots after the a puck drop. Enroth is the future, Vanek should have a C on his sweater and Darcy should be sharpening skates.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 16, 2012 at 11:18 PM

      Even if I was high I could make more sense than you. Comparing Miller to that ship’s captain? Too soon.

      As for Enroth and Miller, obviously the Sabres should go with the guy who has the hot hand. However, Miller’s stats are not horrendous. He’s not Bryzgalov bad so obviously he’s not Buffalo’s only problem. He is still their #1 guy and they certainly won’t dump him after a little more than half a lousy season without giving him a chance to rebound. If we’re still having this discussion at this time next year then it might be more reasonable to discuss his departure.

  6. dolanster - Jan 16, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Miller for Hiller (and some supporting cast). Equipment manager only has to change one letter on the sweater.

    • cshearing - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      I think that’s a ridiculous trade, but I gave it a thumbs up for the laugh. :)

  7. wez99 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Agreed mr mojo, miller isn’t playing the best, but the whole team is not playing well, the D has left our goalies out to dry too much this season, gotta keep riding miller, trying to stay positive, and I support Enroth completely, but is not ready, there’s a lot of games where the puck hits the post more then twice, and after Enroth makes saves, he tends to be lost with the rebounds he gives up, he is the future but he still learning and getting better, only a couple trades here and there, let’s not clean house

  8. rabidbillsfan - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    After watching last nigths game, I think the only way that this team will turn it around, is with a new coach. Sorry Lindy. I have been a backer of yours for a long time, but it seems your words have gone hollow on this team. This has to be one of the worst stick-handling teams I have ever seen. Poor passes, and even when there solid, they end up hopping the stick. Give-aways galore, and no physicality. The only player I watched last night chase the puck was Gerbe. It’s almost as if this team has zero confidence. Something needs to change, Miller can say all he wants that nothing will change this but the team they have now, but lets see what a move like a new coach, or trading away a Roy, Stafford, or Hecht does.

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