Ryan Miller has been completely dominant against Toronto this year -- stopping 71 of 73 shots in two Buffalo victories against the Leafs and giving Toronto coach Ron Wilson and GM Brian Burke a first-hand look at what they'll have at their disposal for Team USA in Vancouver.
Wilson was asked Thursday how his team can be better against Miller tonight in HSBC Arena and joked, "I would be facetious and say, 'run the goalie,' but I can't do that. I might need him later. I don't think he has to audition for the [Olympic] job. "If he can just settle down and be sub-par or less than average, then we would have a chance."
The Sabres have won seven straight against the Leafs, who have been dramatically better after a 1-7-5 start. Miller and Vesa Toskala will be the goaltenders tonight at 7:35.
Miller continues to lead the league in goals-against average (1.88) and save percentage (.937). He was the focus of the Toronto media crush at today's morning skate and they quickly relayed Wilson's comments to him.
"I appreciate that but I wouldn't be doing what got me to the Olympics," Miller said. "I focused on my team early in the season. I've done a good job of keeping everything in very good order and focusing on the next challenge and that's the Maple Leafs."
In other news, Lindy Ruff said Patrick Kaleta remains day to day. He won't play tonight and hasn't officially been ruled out of tomorrow's game against Pittsburgh but he's not expected to play in that one either. Ruff said he was disappointed there was no suspension to Ottawa Jarkko Ruutu for Wednesday's hit on Kaleta.
"Maybe they didn't feel it was a deliberate blow to the head," Ruff theorized. "I really feel those are the ones, when somebody's head goes into the glass, that you have to look at. I know they're tough but we've lost a player now for the remainder of that game, at least another game and possibly again tomorrow on a hit that we feel should be looked it. But those are tough calls."
The Leafs were not at the arena this morning. They skated at home and then took an early-afternoon bus ride.
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