2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Ryan Miller

April 5, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

With the 2011-12 Buffalo Sabres ending in disappointment and after a few weeks for us to gather our thoughts, it's time for us to issue our report cards on the season. Over the next few weeks, we'll grade every player that wore a Buffalo Sabres uniform in 2011 and 2012, from Luke Adam to Mike Weber.


GP MIN W L GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2011 - Ryan Miller 61 3536 31 21 150 2.55 1788 1638 .916 6

Introduction: There is perhaps no player more debated amongst Sabres fans than Ryan Miller. Despite being a former Vezina winner, Miller's ability to carry a team deep in to the playoffs has been questioned more and more over the past few years.

This latest season was a perfect example of why Miller is such a hotly debated player in the Sabres community. After getting off to a hot start, something happened involving Milan Lucic (I can't remember, it was a long time ago.) Upon his return from injury, Miller struggled mightily in December and January, before turning it on and returning to Vezina form in February and March. Which version is the real Ryan? Let's try and find out after the break.

Key Stat: Miller led the Sabres charge at the end of the season, going 15-4-3 over his last 22 games. He's still capable of carrying a team on his back for stretches, but can he do it for an entire season like he did in 2009-10?

Weird Stat: The only way Miller won games on Wednesdays was by shutout - four of his six shutouts this year came on hump day, and he lost the other five Wednesday games he played in.

Thumbs Up: This year saw Miller set some personal and franchise records - he set a career high this season with six shutouts, and was only five minutes short of setting a new shutout streak at 155:37. He also became just the sixth goalie in NHL history to get 30 or more wins in seven straight seasons, and finally, passed Dominik Hasek for the most wins in franchise history with his 235th career win.

Miller was phenomenal in the months of February and March, to the Sv%/GAA of .938/1.85 in Feb and .930/2.17 in March, and that helped him put up a record of 19-6-5 after the All-Star break. He's still the best interview on the team.

Thumbs Down: The big story for Miller this year was his concussion thanks to being viciously steamrolled accidentally bumped by Lucic, and his recovery from said concussion. When he came back in December, it took the veteran netminder about a full month after his return to really look like the Miller of old - his save percentages in December and January were an abysmal .893 and .901, respectively. Though his overall numbers were close to his career averages, Miller had his lowest even strength save percentage in 5 years and his lowest power play save percentage in 4 years.

Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Ryan Miller on his season according to the expectations you had for him. If he met them, give him a five or a six. If he eclipsed them, aim for a seven or beyond. If he failed to meet them, give him a lower number relating to how poorly he missed the target.

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