Dominik Hasek

Ducks’ Ryan Miller eyeing Hasek on wins list, unsure of playing future

Ryan Miller will turn 40 in July, and while he can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, he’s keeping his focus on hoping to complete the 2019-20 season. The Ducks goaltender told Sportsnet’s Gene Principe that he’s not sure if he’ll continue playing beyond this season, citing the uncertainly regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s a lot of talk here in California that schools are not going to be fully in session possibly into next year,” Miller said. “That changes the dynamic around the house and what needs to happen and what’s important.”

Anaheim had 11 games to play at the time of the NHL pause on March 12. Miller, who has 387 career wins between his time with the Sabres, Blues, Canucks, and Ducks, would like to catch Dominik Hasek (389) for 14th all-time.

“I was right there, I was really hoping I could catch Dominik,” Miller said. “That’d be something special to me because coming into Buffalo, following in his footsteps and expectations was quite a heavy thing at first, and I was happy I was able to learn how to kind of create my own space in Buffalo and play my own game and separate myself and be a different goaltender from his legacy. So definitely something that would have been fun to chase down, and I’m still hopeful that this year that can happen.”

Miller made his NHL debut with the Sabres in November 2002, two seasons after Hasek was dealt from Buffalo to the Red Wings.

After years as a starter, Miller has found a late-career role as a backup for John Gibson. In 71 appearances with the Ducks since 2017-18, he’s posted a .916 even strength save percentage and helped them to 29 wins in 57 starts.

“I fell off that pace a little while ago, and I’ve just been trying to chip away at [reaching 400 wins], becoming a backup in Anaheim,” he said. “Still having fun, still enjoying going to the rink, and still very competitive. This whole situation we’re all going through is definitely a curveball.

“I would love to have a chance to put the gear on and give it another chance, but like everybody else we’ll have to wait and see how it’s going to play out.”

As he waits the pause out, Miller is auctioning off equipment and autographed items to help families with children affected by the pandemic. FeedMore WNY, Buffalo PAL, and Second Harvest Food Bank of OC will benefit from the money raised.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

The Buzzer: Blues, Maple Leafs, others roar into holiday break

Blues Maple Leafs buzzer
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Three Stars

1. Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs

Pity any hockey fan, but especially Leafs and Hurricanes fans, if they didn’t know it was an afternoon game. The two teams put on an epic show, with Toronto rally to win a game with 13 combined goals. This serves as the latest bit of evidence that the Maple Leafs are soaring under Sheldon Keefe.

Marner exploded for two goals and five assists, extending his point streak to eight games (six goals, 11 assists). The gifted playmaker improved his season total to 35 points in 27 contests. In generating five points, Marner matched his career-high for a single game.

Consider this a blanket top star for the most prolific point producers of that game. Martin Necas demands a mention, as the Hurricanes younger scored two goals and two assists. John Tavares (1G, 2A) and Zach Hyman (3A) both cracked three points. Auston Matthews authored the best play of the night with his assist, and also scored a goal. Check the highlights for more on this game, and also this.

2. Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning

Point helped the Lightning bombard the Panthers 6-1 on Monday. The undersized star generated one goal and three assist for four points, managing a +3 rating and two shots on goal.

Even with that outburst, Point falls a bit short of a point-per-game (30 in 32). Climbing that mountain could be quite feasible if he stays as hot as he’s been. During the last six games, Point scored four goals and five assists, failing to score in just a single contest.

3. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

On a jam-packed Monday, Anderson faced plenty of competition to reach Buzzer three-star status. Producing one of the highlights of the night counts as a nice tiebreaker, however.

Overall, Anderson finished with 43 out of 44 saves. While the 38-year-old endures more valleys than peaks lately, Anderson has won three of his last four decisions. He’s also taken four of five games.

If this continues, the Senators might need to trade Anderson to maintain an efficient tank-job.

Highlights of the Night

Matthews managing an outrageous spinning assist is the singular highlight, but enjoy the full deal because it’s a delight:

Anderson gives Matthews a run for his money by pulling a Dominik Hasek, though:

Factoids

Scores

TOR 8 – CAR 6
MIN 3 – CGY 0
BOS 7 – WSH 3
TBL 6 – FLA 1
CBJ 3 – NYI 2
PHI 5 – NYR 1
OTT 3 – BUF 1
NSH 3 – ARI 2
MTL 6 – WPG 2
NJD 7 – CHI 1
STL 4 – LAK 1
VAN 4 – EDM 2
COL 7 – VGK 3

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Hasek says NHL should ‘embrace’ Olympics

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As the NHL, NHLPA and IIHF look to work out a deal, which would see NHL players participate in the 2018 Olympics, one former NHLer believes the league should send its players.

Dominik Hasek, who was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame on the weekend, says the NHL should “embrace” the idea of going to PyeongChang, South Korea.

“To win it all for your country is to win for everyone and everything that is at the heart of who you are,” said Hasek. “To bring back the gold medal from Nagano was indescribable. I encourage the NHL to embrace it and give players like Jaromir Jagr one more shot at a party in the Old Town Square.”

There is currently no deal in place between the IIHF, NHL and NHLPA for players to participate at the 2018 Olympics.

Hasek participated in four Olympic games winning gold at Nagano in 1998.

Video: Sabres retire Dominik Hasek’s No. 39

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Prior to puck drop between the Red Wings and Sabres tonight Dominik Hasek’s No. 39 was raised to the rafters at the First Niagara Center.

The 49-year-old spent nine seasons as a member of the Sabres leading Buffalo to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 1999.

The Hall of Famer appeared in 491 regular season games with the Sabres posting a 234-170-70 record to go along with a 2.22 G.A.A. and a .926 save percentage.

While with the Sabres, Hasek won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP and the Lester B. Pearson Trophy as the league’s MVP as voted by the players in both 1997 and 1998. He also took home the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender six times while with the Sabres.

Here is the video tribute the Sabres played for Hasek tonight:

Hall Call: Hasek, Blake, Forsberg, and Modano make up 2014 Hall of Fame class

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The 2014 Hockey Hall of Fame induction class is one for the ages.

Dominik Hasek, Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, and Mike Modano have been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame for their storied careers as players.

Hasek was a six-time Vezina Trophy winner and a two-time winner of the Hart Trophy as league MVP while with the Buffalo Sabres. He’s also been a member of two Stanley Cup winning teams in Detroit with the Red Wings in 2002 and 2008.

Blake played for 20 years with the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche, and San Jose Sharks and won a Stanley Cup patrolling the blue line with the Avs in 2001. He scored 40 or more points in 12 seasons in the NHL and was a Hobey Baker Award finalist at Bowling Green.

Forsberg was as dominating a force as could be found in the NHL during his 14 seasons in the NHL. He was the Calder Trophy winner in 1995 and won two Stanley Cups with the Avalanche in 1996 and 2001. Originally a first-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, he’ll forever be linked with Eric Lindros as part of the monster trade that sent Lindros to Philly and the building blocks to Cup winners to the Quebec Nordiques. He won the Hart Trophy in 2003 and won two Olympic gold medals with Sweden in 1994 and 2006.

source: APModano was the face of the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars franchise over 21 out of his 22 seasons in the NHL before finishing his career at home in Michigan with the Red Wings. In his career he piled up 561 goals and 1,374 points, the most ever by an American-born player. His crowning achievement came in 1999 winning the Stanley Cup with Dallas beating Hasek’s Sabres.

Also joining those four are longtime coach Pat Burns who was elected as a builder and referee Bill McCreary who was selected for his work as an official.

Burns was a three-time Jack Adams Award winner as coach of the year and won his lone Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2003. He’s forever known as being the face of the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1980s and ’90s.  He also led the Boston Bruins for four seasons in the late ’90s. Burns finished his career in 2004 with a career winning percentage of .574 but passed away in 2010 from cancer.

McCreary spent 27 years as a referee in the league working 1,700 regular season games and 282 playoff games. Known for his mustache and no-nonsense style, he earned the respect of everyone throughout the league and was often the man called on to officiate the biggest games. He also worked the 1998 and 2002 Olympics and earned the call to work the gold medal game in both tournaments.

USA Today’s Kevin Allen and CSNChicago’s Pat Foley are the 2014 Media Honorees. That group will be inducted on Monday, November 17 in Toronto.