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Miller: Wave at booing Buffalo fans wasn’t ‘screw you’ gesture

Apr 25, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT

Ryan Miller AP

Ryan Miller will play his 500th career game tonight, at home, in front of the Sabres faithful.

And he’s probably hoping it’ll go better than last time.

On Apr. 19 — Miller’s last start at the First Niagara Center — the Sabres were eliminated from playoff contention with an ugly 8-4 loss to the Rangers, in which Miller responded to jeering fans with a sarcastic wave…before getting hooked.

On Thursday, he explained himself.

“Some people were giving me some grief, and I just picked my hand up like, ‘OK, I hear ya,'” Miller told the Buffalo News. “It wasn’t a screw you. It wasn’t a, ‘I hate you guys.’ It was, ‘You know, I hear ya. Enough. I get it.’

“Just let me try and do what I’ve got to do.”

The gesture was seen as a possible breaking point for Miller.

The 30-year-old netminder has already been subjected to a season’s worth of frustration, trade speculation and uncertainty about his future.

The wave was reminiscent of another incident where a goalie finally had enough.

From John Vogl of the Buffalo News:

Miller, who’s been in the organization since 2002, had a moment reminiscent of Patrick Roy’s final game in Montreal just 28 seconds into the period.

He stopped another dump-in and fired it toward the boards with authority.

As the crowd again gave a Bronx cheer, Miller waved to the patrons as played continued – much like Roy did during a humiliating game in 1995 that featured him asking for a trade immediately after getting pulled.

Miller’s teammates responded following the contest.

“It’s very disrespectful after what he’s done for Buffalo, what he’s done for this team, this organization and this city,” Sabres defenseman Adam Pardy told News. “It [ticks] you off when you hear that. He’s been great all year. We’ve had wins when we’ve had no business winning games. The reason was Ryan Miller.

“To hear that is just absolute disrespect for what he’s done for this organization.”

Today, Miller stressed he harbors no ill will towards Sabres fans over the incident.

“I care about the people here,” he told The News. “If they’re frustrated with the way we’re playing, I can acknowledge it and we can move on.”

  1. jpelle82 - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    traded before the draft…count it.

  2. mclovinhockey - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Is miller sure they are sabres fans?? Have not seen many lately but when Montreal played there montreal had more fans than buffalo, then later Philly played there and I kid you not, did not realize until the 3rd it was in buffalo from all the cheers and orange in the crowd.

  3. thehighcountrybear - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    I see…I see…I see…

    Ryan Miller going to the Avalanche, backstopping a pair of Cup victories, then developing hearing problems as he continually loses his rings in his ears?

    • jpelle82 - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      he wishes…he’s no patrick roy though.

  4. rabidbillsfan - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Oh, so my tickets for tomorrows game to watch Miller play his 500th game in front of the Sabres faithful must be invalid… either way, Sabres fans are fickle, Miller is a top 5 goalie on a bottom 5 team. He will be traded as a missing piece to a team just lacking a goalie and will probably win the cup with said team. He has more value than Luongo, and when Enroth bombs out, fans will again be calling for the head of whatever GM is in place, because, you know, they are more qualified to run a professional sports franchise then those guys are.

  5. thehighcountrybear - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    No, Ryan Miller’s no Patrick Roy…Patrick was special, verrry verrrry special?

    He did provide Wings supporters with much comic relief, and we’re always grateful for his contribution.

    Still, Patrick’s exactly what Colorado needs to bring some sense and reason back to the Avalanche…he’s a winner!

  6. rabidbillsfan - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    @ mclovinhockey

    don’t comment on something you clearly know nothing about. I’ll give you the montreal game, but the Flyers game was a total snoozer from start to finish and the Sabres pulled it out, so to say you heard more cheers for the flyers is clearly fictional. And to knock a team that, as bad as they are, is still better then the Flyers is laughable.

  7. hockeyflow33 - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    So wait, Miller gives up 4 goals on 14 shots in just over one period and somehow he shouldn’t be booed? Last I checked he hasn’t won anything for Buffalo.

    The players in Buffalo seem to concentrate a lot more on their fans than the opposing team.

    • shutmdownd - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      well i live here and have been a sabers fan since i was a kid, and i will say 2 things about the game: the first 2 goals of the period were clearly off of our defensmans skates, the third one was definitely on him and he knew it… and the other is the whole booing the team at home, i think a lot of it has to do with the whole family atmosphere that they have created for home games, that being said i think a lot of the people who are doing the booing really dont even understand what they are booing, they just hear other people do it so they do it as well…

      • shutmdownd - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        *sabres – stupid auto correct!!!

      • hockeyflow33 - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:37 PM

        I think you’re very similar to other hockey towns in that if your team is putting forth the effort, the fans can at least appreciate that. In watching their games against the B’s this year, outside of Vanek, it really seemed like a lot of guys weren’t ready to play this year and were suffereing from Lucic Syndrome.

        The family atmosphere is everywhere now though. It’s not good enough to watch a hockey game, we need tshirts, graphics and directives to tell us when to make noise.

  8. travishenryskid - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Regardless of what the gesture meant, and whether or not tomorrow is his final game as a Sabre, the guy has been an excellent player for the franchise. Probably the second best goalie in franchise history, which is saying a lot. Still, the fact is, this team hasn’t won a playoff series since 2007 and changes are needed. No hard feelings, it’s just the way it is.

  9. rabidbillsfan - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    @ hockeyflow

    another case of saying something you clearly know nothing about. Going 3-2 against a team that was pegged by many as a top-2 team in the east is showing some sort of “syndrome”? The problem wasn’t the effort against teams that were deemed superior, it was the effort against teams with losing record, or who were “talent-dry”. Losses to Florida, Tampa, the early season Caps, and Carolina (strangely all of those teams are in the SE) and so on and so forth were the problems. Buffalo ended the Pens streak… twice, had a winning record against Boston, played Toronto and Ottawa tough, and even stole some from the Devils. Personally, this team is better w/ a guy like Rolston. Lindy was a good coach, but didn’t hold every player to the same standard unless pressured to do so.Rolston doesn’t pull punches, and he will sit you down if you are not performing. Which explains the issues with playing bad teams early on. So, don’t let facts cloud your judgement, or anybody else’s for that matter, most Sabres fans are fair weather anyways, which isn’t their fault. This is how it works in Buffalo, if you don’t understand it, then you want it changed. Again, championshipless for 2 of the most prominent franchises will do that to you, but some of us act like were entilted or.something because we attend games or whatever.

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      The B’s have also played listless for many of their games against lesser talents, i.e. Buffalo. Vanek alone beat them for a few games.

      I’m also not sure why you got pissy about a compliment. I’ve played with and against a lot of guys from Buffalo and I don’t really understand why being a hockey town is a bad thing but apparently it is to you. Many of the manufacturing based cities are big hockey towns.

      • rabidbillsfan - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:13 AM

        Where’s the compliment I missed? I’m sorry, if you’re going to sit there and say that boston ‘played down’ to Buffalo’s level in 4 of the 5 contests, then I honestly cannot believe I am even responding. Never said being a hockey town was a bad thing, what this City is, is a misinformed bunch of fans, that is all. Losing does that, but it doesn’t give anybody the right to boo your hometown team, let alone your only star player, and then not like the reaction from the player or team. I missed you’re scathing assesment of Miller earlier, where you seemed to think Booing him for ‘allowing’ 4 goals is acceptable. it’s not, and Miller is just doing the politicaly correct thing by what he said. Are you going to boo the team when they go through the re-building process? Probably, but fire Regeir, right? For the sake of all the armchair GM’s, I hope Pegula cleans house. New GM, New coach, New goalie, New star. Then when the team still blows, you can find another excuse for wanting change. Really sick of hearing it, and it’s not just here, it’s at the bars, in the paper, on the radio. I’m happy to be a Sabres fan, they are moving in the right direction, and need some tweaks to become competetive again. Those tweaks are infusing youg talent (4 picks in the first 2 rounds), and keeping the core in place (Miller, Vanek and Ennis).

  10. rabidbillsfan - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Oh, and speaking of Booing, didn’t hear much of that when Enroth was responsible for his 4 goals. None of those were re-directions either. But, alas, that’s what the “Buffalo Faithful” want.

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