The Philadelphia Flyers abused Ryan Miller in Game 7 of their first round series, but things were just as ugly for the all-world goalie tonight on Versus. After allowing three dispiriting goals on just 11 shots, Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff mercifully pulled the plug on Miller’s night – much like what happened in that Game 7, only this time much sooner in the contest.
To be exact, the change happened just 6:23 into the first period, the second quickest outing of the great goalie’s career according to Liam McHugh. This contest will leave Miller with a single-night goals against average that would make Vesa Toskala blush, but the important thing to remember is that it’s just one bad night.
Things really haven’t been great for Miller since he notched a 22-save shutout against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 20. He’s on a three-game losing streak and can only hope for a non-decision if the Sabres can come back tonight. It’s unfair to say that he’s the sole reason that his team is in a 3-0 hole, but the bottom line is that some people will blame him anyway.
Even great goalies hit a rut, so the key is for Miller and the Sabres to bounce back. They can start doing just that in the second period tonight, although their franchise netminder will likely just be in a cheerleader role.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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