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Miller feels good despite rough end to season

Apr 14, 2014, 9:50 AM EST

Ryan Miller AP

St. Louis goaltender Ryan Miller isn’t the reason the Blues are carrying a six-game losing streak into the playoffs, but the team’s star trade acquisition hasn’t emerged from the team’s slump completely unscathed.

He has an 0-5-0 record, 3.82 GAA, and .856 save percentage in his last five starts. That hasn’t dampened his spirits though.

“Obviously it’s been a tough stretch as far as goals-against, but I don’t feel like I’m in a really bad place,” Miller said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I feel like I’m in a pretty good place, honestly. I know people probably will take that and just chop it up and laugh about it, but I feel pretty good.

“I can compete. I just have to worry about battling and competing. It was going to be the same job no matter what. Once you get to the playoffs everybody’s at zeros, so compete.”

It would have been helpful to have some momentum going into the playoffs, but as Miller said, everything’s been reset to zero now. Taking Game 1 against Chicago on Thursday (8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN) is infinitely more important than any early April slump.

It’s also important to note that the Blues have been playing without several key forwards and some of their problems might be solved simply by getting some of their players back from the sick bay. At the same time, the Blues only managed to score three of more goals in seven of their final 25 games and were also shutout seven times in that span, so this runs deeper than one bad patch.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock added that the team’s focus needs to be on the guys in front of Miller rather than the performance of their goaltender. It makes sense because while they need Miller to be at his best, the rest of the team needs to return the favor.

  1. hanspard - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    No way is this all on Miller. He’s been left out to dry sometimes, but some of the lineups the Blues have put out lately say a lot. Lots of AHL players out there.

  2. lowenni - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    I think it’s interesting that goalies tend to struggle in St. Louis, with the stingy defense they have in place there. Of course Miller is still adjusting from moving to a new team after being with the same one for 15 years, but perhaps with the shot blocking system they have there goalies don’t face many tough shots and they get cold and distracted. When Halak–who similiarly struggled in St. Louis–was traded to Washington, McPhee noted that Washington’s defense style would be better suited to Halak’s goaltending style and he was right. Although he faced many more shots, Halak flourished. I don’t really know, I’m far from an expert, but it is interesting and curious.

  3. luz56 - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    I picked them to win it all back in July… Not sure they get out if first round… No momentum

    • joey4id - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      Well! The Hawks aren’t exactly firing on all pistons. I do believe the Blues will pull through.

  4. oldfatbaldguy - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    They didn’t play stingy defense yesterday. Miller was the reason it was 3-0 instead of 6-0. If they play like that against Chicago they’ll get swept.

  5. mshantz22 - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    I honestly still have no idea is to why it was such a great idea for St. Louis to trade for Miller. No offense to miller but Halak and especially Elliott seemed like competent goalies.

    • tridecagon - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      St. Louis has a very long history of guys that seem like competent goalies, only to flame out in the playoffs. Having been beaten twice in a row by Jonathan Quick, they were looking for “that guy” who can play solidly throughout the playoffs and steal you a game or two every series. They put all their chips on the table… and then everybody got hurt.

  6. comeonnowguys - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    I am a Blackhawks fan, so a little part of me enjoys this, but man this feels like a little overboard.

    He’s a good goalie that perhaps played a little over his head for most of the year. He’s still a good goalie perfectly capable of back stopping a Cup team.

    Sure the recent Blues injuries are not a good sign, but until I see 19 or 88 take the ice, I will still be skeptical that they are playing.

    It is the NHL playoffs. Once you are in, anything can happen. Don’t get too high with the highs or too low with the lows.

  7. tfilarski - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    Miller is the MAF of the west. He will be exposed in the playoffs

  8. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Was looking forward to watching this series until the Blues got bit bad by the injury bug. Chicago should have no problem taking this in 5 the way the Blues are at the moment.

  9. purpleguy - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    If the Blues get healthy, they will be fine; however, its hard to imagine that one of these teams will be making tee times in 10 days.

  10. blomfeld - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    GOT THE BLUES ?

    How can the Blues go from SC ‘favorite’ (as per PHT) to this ‘troubled’ state of affairs in the span of just a few weeks ? It doesn’t make any sense at all ? Unless of course they were never a ‘true’ favorite in the first place, which I suspect to be the case. The bottom line is that while Saint Louis ‘means’ well and all, there’s simply no way in hell that they’re going to pull that Planet of the Apes crap against the Blackhawks, no way Jose !

    Hawks in 5 … maybe 4 ? :)

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