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Buffalo Sabres’ Ryan Miller May Be Olympic Stater Despite Team’s Horrid Play

December 17th, 2013 at 2:00 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller isn't going anywhere with his NHL team in 2013-14. But he may yet have a prize to play for this season.

The star of the 2010 U.S. Olympic team has apparently done enough thus far for a bad Sabres team to retain the interest of U.S. Hockey. The starter for the silver-winning team four years ago, Miller has only six wins in 23 starts this season. But his 2.91 GAA and .921 save percentage stand out for a goalie who's faced as many shots as the Sabres allow on him (831, second-most for any goalie).

'Ryan Miller' photo (c) 2011, grilled cheese - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

That hasn't been lost on U.S. Hockey general manager David Poile, who spoke to NHL.com:

"(Miller) gave us a chance to win every game )in the 2010 Olympics) and was obviously a big reason we came within one goal of winning that gold medal and he's playing really well this year. Body of work is really important, and Ryan has that. The other criteria is how they're playing this year, and Ryan has played really well."

Miller was considered a possible long shot to start – and perhaps even make the team – after last season, when he posted career-worst stats in nearly every category (17-17-5 record, 2.81 GAA, .915 save percentage). But former front-runner Jonathan Quick has struggled slightly, going 10-5-0 with a 2.35 GAA and .905 save percentage this season while nursing a groin injury. Jimmy Howard (6-8-7, 2.65 GAA, .910 save percentage) and Craig Anderson (9-8-3, 3.28 GAA, .900 save percentage) have also failed to set themselves apart this season.

"We have some really good goaltenders. It is a good news situation that we have some quality guys to choose from, but specifically Ryan has done a real good job, and we're looking very hard at him," Poille said.

Corey Schneider, Ben Bishop and Tim Thomas are also officially in the mix for one of three roster spots. Miller may or may not even be with the Sabres by the Olympics, as he's been hotly rumored to be trade bait before the end of this season as the Sabres rebuild.

The team will be announced Jan. 1 at the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The Olympics take place Feb. 7-23 in Sochi, Russia.

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Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL

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