It's time to put the finishing touches on the 2008-2009 season for the Buffalo Sabres. Here is a complete report card of every single player that played a significant amount of time with the Sabres this season. Thanks to Japers Rink and Mile High Hockey for the inspiration.
#30 / Goalie / Buffalo Sabres
Jul 17, 1980
|2008 - Ryan Miller||59||3443||34||18||6||6||145||2.53||1773||1628||.918||5|
Key Stats: When the shootout was first instituted it was an area that Ryan Miller excelled. He struggled terribly in the 2007-2008 winning only four times in 11 shootouts. This season he returned to form and went 8-2 in is 10 shootout opportunities. His career record is 25-15 in the shootout which means that he is 21-7 outside of the 2007-2008 season.
Interesting Stats: Ryan Miller finished with a record of 34-18-6 while all the other Sabres Goalies (Patrick Lalime & Mikael Tellqvist) were 7-14-3. Now...what was the reason the Sabres didn't make the playoffs?
The Good: This post is designed to talk about what Ryan Miller has done statistically but he means so much more to this team. Miller is the heart-and-soul of the team and it was obvious to see when he was out of the lineup.
Miller has been the franchise goalie for quite sometime now but this season was his best in the NHL. His highest save percentage before this season was .914 in 2005-2006 but this season he was eighth in the league with a .918 save percentage.
His five shutouts were also a career high. In fact he had only seven shutouts in his career prior to last season. This was also a step in the right direction for Miller because he always seemed to lose a shutout in the final minutes.
Miller was ninth in the league on short distance shots. He allowed 46 goals on 286 shots that were under 15 feet. That was good for a .839 save percentage.
The Bad: This was the best season that Ryan Miler has ever had statistically. Those statistics may be somewhat misleading. The Sabres instituted a new defensive pilosophy this season and it seemed to help Miller considerably. The average shot that Miller faced came from 38.65 feet away. That will lower the odds of scoring all the time.
Miller had a save percentage of .948 on shots that were 30-45 feet away. Once again that looks like a good stat but he is not among the league leaders on shots from 30-45 feet.
Miller was among the worst goalies in the league when the opposition was on the power play. He allowed 42 gaols on 347 shots for a save percentage of .879 which is 10th worst in the league.
2008-2009 Salary: $2,666,667
2009-2010 Status: signed for $6,250,000
Vote: It's time to grade Miller for his play in the 2008-2009 season. Every player has expectations so vote based on those expectations. If a player played to their potential they should receive a "C" if they exceeded expectations they would receive a "B" or an "A".
Discuss: Would the Sabres have made the playoffs if he was never hurt? What is the right amount of games that Miller should play? Were you frustrated with the over-worked excuse after the 2007-2008 season?
Up Next: Dominic Moore