Every once in a while it’s easy to get down about Ryan Miller. He has a bad game, or a soft goal, or sometimes you remember what dominance Hasek displayed over his stay here. It’s easy to tire of a goaltender when times are rough, and it’s easy to criticize someone in quite possibly the most demanding job in professional sports.
And then you hear Ryan Miller talk and remember just how smart he is. Or better yet, someone tells you just how good he is.
Now this article doesn’t exactly deal with Miller’s intelligence, but it does highlight his unique understanding of the game. For example, Miller’s thoughts on how last year turned out.
“For some, I think we didn’t buy into what Lindy was preaching every night,” Miller said. “His approach to the game works. Play as a team, keep it simple, be responsible, be accountable, you find out it works. We knew coming into this year we had to get back to that kind of game.”
It may sound like the same mumbo jumbo, but when Ryan Miller says it you seem to believe it more. Put it this way: every press conference Mike Tomlin gives I get jealous of the Steelers. He’s so honest, so excited about the game. You can tell his enthusiasm and understanding of the game is there, and he’s not afraid to show it.
Ryan Miller isn’t as peppy as Tomlin, but he is just as smart when it comes to the game of hockey. The more I hear him talk, the better I am about that contract he signs. He understands the game in a way I only wish I did, and I like that he isn’t afraid to be honest with what he says.
“You know, I’m happy here and I felt this was a good place for me and I had been treated well here and felt I fit in well here, with the organization and with the guys and in the community,” Miller said. “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I wanted to be here and I didn’t want to go anywhere else, so I took the contract when it was offered to me.”
I believe him, and that’s exactly what you want out of your franchise goaltender.
So far this year it seems like all we’ve talked about is Ryan Miller and Atlas Vanek. With St. Louis in town tonight, let’s hope we have the chance to talk about them again. I’ll be up in the Roost tonight, so stop by and say hello if you get near Row 9.