After getting sidetracked by injury for the second time this season, this time by groin tenderness, Ryan Miller is back in goal tonight for the Sabres against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Miller passed his final workout this morning and reported no troubles.
Miller has owned the Leafs in his career, going 22-8 in 30 career starts against them with a 2.23 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. The wins are the most against one team and the goals-against and save percentage are Miller's best among clubs that he's met at least five times.
"It's been an interesting month as far as little nagging things," Miller said today when asked about his injury troubles. "It's something I really haven't had in my career usually. I'm pretty resilient like that unless it's something major. But back to back in the last few weeks, things have popped up that I've had to address."
It remains to be seen how close to 100 percent Miller can get or if he will be in maintenance mode most of the season.
"I'd like to think I can get right in," he said. "My heart rate is right where it's supposed to be. My conditioning is pretty good. The frustrating part is how you feel on the ice trying to do everything that's normal without thinking about it. Honestly, that's been getting better even though I had a little groin thing coming up. Other parts have been feeling better, feeling more loose."
Coach Lindy Ruff said Miller playing tonight means he could be available to go back-to-back tomorrow in Montreal. Miller said he's hopeful that will be the case.
"You don't know until you try," he said. "We'll get through tonight, see where we're at, talk to Lindy and go from there."
Miller has been dogged by knee, hip and groin problems this year and is just 6-6-2 with a 2.62 GAA and .909 save percentage. But it's really not going to matter what he does if this club doesn't start to score. The Sabres have just one goal the last two games despite the fact Jhonas Enroth and Patrick Lalime combined to give up only three.
Derek Roy (elbow) will play tonight. There are no changes to the lineup, meaning the scratches will remain Craig Rivet, Chris Butler and Drew Stafford.
taggedSabres game day