If you need the definition of a goalie winning the game for your team, look no further than Ryan Miller and his performance for the Buffalo Sabres as they played the Washington Capitals Sunday night. Miller faced 50 shots from the Capitals and only allowed one to get by him. That’s right — one shot got passed Miller. The Sabres on the other hand only managed 17 shots and got one passed the Capitals netminder Phillipp Grubauer.
It would be hard to blame the struggles of the Sabres on Miller this season. Miller is 10-17 on the season and has a goals-against average of 2.69. This is right around his career average of 2.60. The problem for the Sabres and their struggles is the inability for the offense to put the puck in the back of the net.
The Sabres are only averaging 1.69 goals per game. Buffalo has given up 105 goals, as a team this year while only scoring 66. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this could cause problems for the team down the road. Luckily, Miller has kept them in games, as he did against Washington in the Sabres’ 2-1 shootout win.
The Sabres have yet to see a player hit the 10-goal plateau for the season. They have two at eight goals and one at seven. Compare that to the league leader Alex Ovechkin and his 30 goals and you can see the dilemma. The Sabres have been playing good lately, but they have to get some offensive help if they hope to improve.