I’m running out of superlatives for Ryan Miller.
There is fantastic and amazing and spectacular, and then there is Ryan Miller. It’s difficult to say, but we’re very early into the season and there’s not much more to say about Ryan Miller without talking to him directly. When you do that you can talk about heroin and his workout regimen, but without a press pass you can only talk about how great he has been this year.
Ryan Miller has been the best goaltender in the NHL. That’s all there is to say, right? I mean, the look on Alexander Ovechkin’s face says it all. That photo was taken the last time the Sabres played the Caps, a textbook Ryan Miller shutout that followed an awful showing against New Jersey. That’s what Miller has done this season, showed up big when the rest of the team has nothing. It’s what he did on Monday night as well, and it won’t be the last time he does it, either.
The only question for me is this: when is Ryan Miller seriously talked about as a Hart Trophy candidate? The Versus announcers discussed it ever so briefly on Monday, but this is something Chris and I have been murmuring about for a few weeks now. What player is more important to their team, and what player has been consistently better thus far?
Take a look at the stat leaders. There is Gaborik and Brodeur and Thornton and then there is Miller. Gaborik has been great and essential to the Rangers’ mediocrity, but without Ryan Miller the Sabres are dead in the water. Instead, they are the best team in the Northeast and are looking at home ice in the first round of the playoffs.
The question is simple: is Miller on a tear that will last the entire season, or is it only a matter of time before something happens to derail the MVP-type run he is currently on. The more I see from Miller the more I think this is the new constant, but maybe we haven’t seen enough to get excited just yet.