Apr 14, 2014, 9:50 AM EDT
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.
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