Looking at the box score from the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings game from last night, one wouldn’t think that Buffalo’s goaltender, Ryan Miller, had a strong performance for fantasy hockey fans. He allowed two goals and the former American goalie was charged with his first loss of the season.
Detroit scored both of the team’s goals in the first period, though. Mikael Samuelsson scored the first goal 12 minutes into the game after getting a beautiful pass from Cory Emmerton. The second goal was scored just 36 second later, as Pavel Datsyuk scored on an unassisted goal. Miller didn’t have a chance at either puck.
After that brief lapse, Miller was stopping everything. He ended the night with 32 saves of 34 shots and boasted a 94.1% save percentage. He made several saves on his head and kept his team in the game down the stretch. Buffalo scored their only goal in the third period and Miller’s two periods of shutout hockey allowed the team to stay in the game in the final couple minutes. Buffalo obviously lost the game, but Miller didn’t allow the game to get out of hand, including stopping a penalty shot in the second period.
Miller had a 17-17-5 record last season between the pipes and had one of the most disappointing seasons in recent history. His 2.81 Goals Against Average (G.A.A.) was his worst total since 2003 in which he only played in three games. He was naturally somewhat forgotten this season and was left out of many top-10 lists for fantasy netminders. However, through one game, Miller showed glimpses of his former self.
Miller may not be the elite netminders he was a couple seasons ago, but he is showing that he is ready to have a bounce back fantasy hockey season in 2013.