Another hopeful Stanley Cup season came to a crashing end for St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller. Miller is, and always has been, one of the NHL‘s most elite goaltenders. However, the former Vezina Trophy winner surrendered five goals on Sunday as the Chicago Blackhawks went on to eliminate the Blues from the first round.
In arguably his worst playoff performance ever, Miller proved yet again that he’s just not destined to win a Cup. Whether he’s cursed or just has a habit of choking in the playoffs, Miller’s chances at raising the cup are getting slimmer at 33.
Miller was traded to the Blues at this past season’s trade deadline. Already being heavily favored to win the Cup since the beginning of the season, the Blue were a stone cold lock to win it all with the addition of Miller, but he proved again that it’s not the squad in front of him that’s keeping him from championship glory; it’s him.
Miller finished the regular season with a .913 save percentage. In the series with Chicago, it was a lousy .897. Besides giving up five goals on Sunday, he also gave up four goals in Game 4. In Game 5, he also proved that he’s not too clutch, getting beat 1-on-1 by Jonathan Toews.
This series isn’t the first time that Miller has blown it though. In the 2005-06 season, Miller surrendered four goals in four different games against the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Championship. The Buffalo Sabres lost in seven games. Game 7 was one of the games in which he surrendered four goals. In the 2006-07 season, the Sabres had another chance to make it to the finals, but failed. They lost in five games to the Ottawa Senators. In Game 1, Miller gave up five goals. In Game 2 and Game 5, he lost in overtime.
The 2010-11 season wasn’t any nicer to Miller. Buffalo lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games. It was a series that saw Miller give up five goals in three different games.
Miller very well may be one of the greatest regular season goalies of his generation. However, he’s proved time and time again that he can’t get the job done when it matters most.