The 2011-2012 NHL season may have seemed as a down season for goaltender Ryan Miller compared to his previous career records, but when play resumes let’s not forget he’s one of the top keepers in the league. Miller posted a record of 31-21-7 in 2011-2012 with a .916 save% and 2.55 goals against average, but had also been sidelined with a concussion suffered against the Boston Bruins early in the season.
Miller is an elite goalie in the NHL however fell in our rankings partially due to the concussion he suffered that saw him miss time. It also could have been a factor as to why his numbers weren’t as good as they’ve been in his career, and he should be looking for a bounce back season if he can remain healthy.
Prior to being drafted in the fifth round (138th overall) in 1999 by the Buffalo Sabres, Miller began his career in college hockey for the Michigan State University Spartans. It was there he would set a NCAA record for all time shutouts with 26 and won the Hobey Baker Award in 2001. A year in which he led the league in Wins, winning percentage, save percentage (an NCAA record .950 mark), goals-against average and shutouts (an NCAA record 10). After 3 seasons of college hockey Miller moved to the professional level, playing for the Sabres AHL affiliate Rochester Americans. He would play 3 seasons in the AHL with occasional call-ups to the NHL, and once recorded 41 wins, tying Gerry Cheevers‘ record.
The 2005-2006 season would be Miller’s first full season in the NHL and he established himself as a starter from the get go, posting a 30-14-3 record. Through 7 seasons in the NHL Miller has yet to record fewer than 30 wins in a season, and in 2010 won the Vezina Trophy as the leagues top goaltender. 2010 would prove to be a big year for Miller as he also backstopped team USA to a silver medal in the Olympic games, losing to Canada in overtime of the gold medal game.
If Miller stays healthy, he could be asked to carry the team into the playoffs after missing out last season. With the departure of some veteran forwards and others who may have underachieved in 2011-2012 he’s going to have to if things don’t turn around. However with a few young stars upcoming for the Sabres that may not be necessary, only time will tell, but overall don’t expect anything less from Miller should he play a full season.
Highlights of Miller’s career in the NHL.
Milan Lucic hits Ryan Miller November 12, 2011. Miller suffered a concussion on the play