Forgive some Buffalo Sabres fans if they’re having trouble remembering the goalie who won the 2010 Vezina Trophy and nearly won a gold medal for the United States.
Ryan Miller’s among the many Buffalo Sabres who are struggling this season, but more often than not, a netminder’s issues are often the most obvious. The team’s franchise netminder was bounced from tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings after he allowed five goals on just 14 shots.
Lindy Ruff gave him that merciful hook 24:32 into the game, but this wasn’t the earliest he’s been pulled from a contest this season. Miller only made it through six minutes and 23 seconds of a Nov. 2 contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.
If the rest of the Sabres’ contest against Detroit goes as expected, Miller’s record will drop to 11-13-2. He came into Monday with the numbers of an average backup (.903 save percentage, 2.97 GAA) and those stats only figure to drop a bit more.
It’s unfair to blame Miller alone for this debacle of a season. He’s been bailing out Buffalo’s defense for years and it seems like the last couple campaigns have caught up with him.
Still, it’s tough not to wonder if some kind of change might happen if the slippage continues in Buffalo – even if Terry Pegula has been generous with excuses.
With that in mind, what would you do to fix this mess?
Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.
Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.
Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.
With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.
Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.