Ryan Miller and St. Louis sure looked like an ideal match at first. He went 7-0-1 in his first eight games after arriving from Buffalo via a trade in late February. The Blues were THN’s Stanley Cup pick, and we viewed Miller as the goalie to take them all the way.
The honeymoon phase fizzled quickly, however. The Blues ended the regular season with six straight losses and Miller started five, allowing at least three goals each time. The slump cost St. Louis the Central Division and led to a matchup with the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks. Miller wasn’t the reason St. Louis lost in six games, but he didn’t steal any. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews beat him with backbreaking overtime winners in Games 4 and 5. He posted an .897 save percentage.
Miller’s future is cloudy for the second straight summer. He’s 34 in July and an unrestricted free agent. Pundits can’t decide if he’s overrated or underrated, one good situation away from recapturing his 2010 Vezina Trophy form or doomed never to win the big game. Miller declined a request to discuss his future.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, for his part, reserves judgment given the sample size.
“I wish we had more practices with him,” Hitchcock says. “Because we had played four or five less games than anybody, our March and April were absolutely packed. We had very limited time working with Ryan and the rest of the players.” Read more