Kerfuffle, Fracas, and Schmozle Inc.

by Corey

Well, it appears that John Vogl and Ryan Miller had a bit of a tift following the Sabres 7-6 loss to the New York Islanders in overtime on Sunday afternoon. You can hear the audio for yourself, but it appears that Vogl asked Ryan Miller how he was, and Miller insinuated a deeper, more nefarious line of questioning. The escapade had twitter… well… a twit about it.

Ryan Miller is wound like an electromagnet. He’s the Cameron Fry of the Buffalo Sabres. You could insinuate that Miller either:

1) bacame unglued due to his poor performance for the year (more on that in a bit)

2) became unglued due to his poor performance in the game

3) became unglued due to being badgered by Buffalo News reporters

If Miller doesn’t take kindly to the questions he faced on Sunday, he should try playing in a sport that matters. Try playing for the Cowboys or Yankees. Hell, he’d be eaten alive if he played in Montreal. You would have 15 Jerry Sullivans there, all looking to poke the right button to make you pissed.

I prefer to look at it as just another day in the life. I’m pretty sure this is who he is – super wound up and emotional about the sport he plays. I’d just like it if he would be less of an outright jerk about it sometimes. Heat of the moment, though, right? In the scheme of things this matters not.

Either way, Miller’s performance has gone down this year – or it has returned to its normal place.

Career: GAA 2.59 – Sv% .914
2010-2011: GAA 2.78 – Sv% .909

His numbers have actually gone down further since I last looked at them. They aren’t WAY outside of his norm, but they are below. They do, if you’re interested, fall in line with his numbers from when they won the President’s Trophy in 2006-2007. They also had a way better team.

This season has kind of been a throw back to me. Miller’s best handle before he went off to the Olympics to carry his country on his back was “Mr. Softee,” so why should we all be so stunned when those traits begin to reappear again?

I have equated Ryan Miller with Grant Fuhr for a while now. I know, Grant Fuhr has Stanley Cup rings. He also had Messier and Gretzky and ton of other hall of famers, so ease up, I’m talking style here. Making the big save when you need it but never being a really statistically dominant goalie. So if you’re worried about Miller, it has been his tendency to give up a bad goal at bad times. It’s a barometer that can’t be quantified by numbers. You sit there and think “Man the team could have really used a stop right there,” or “Wow, I’m glad Miller was there to stop that one.” That’s how I’m watching him, and this year there has been cause for concern for that.

In all of this it is important to remember that they have been and may continue to be on a great streak. The reaction to Sunday’s game was as if they had been eliminated from playoff contention.

For a team that had been dead at New Year’s passion sure is running high.