Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, back in town and ready for training camp, made a point earlier this week to say that winning is a process. He has been impressed with the offseason moves and management's approach, but he also believes it's another stage in the Sabres' development.
He wanted to make sure people didn't misinterpret the Sabres' push toward winning this season as if they weren't trying to win in another seasons. Otherwise, he suggested, it would trvialize everything they had been trying to accomplish to this point in their careers.
"For some of our shortcomings over the years, not finishing those great runs, we’ve had positive seasons, Miller said. "We’ve had winning records. I don’t want to brush it off and say, 'Now, it starts.' It’s not that I don’t recognize things are changing, but I feel we’ve all put a lot of work in. That goes for Lindy and Darcy and the whole organization.
"There are certain things we’re going to have a little more assistance with, and they’ve definitely evolved as managers and coaches. The sense seems to be that there has been a little bit of an evolution, which needs to happen."
Miller is certain to be a key to their success. He took a step back from his career year in 2009-10, when he led the United States to the gold medal game in the Olympics and won the Vezina Trophy. He made a conscious effort to take a mental break after the season. Oh, one another change was getting married. He exchanged vows with actress Noureen DeWulf during a ceremony in Los Angeles.
"On my wedding day, thought I would be nervous and scattered," Miller said. "I was more centered and focused than I’ve been anywhere, including on the ice. Everything happened easily. The words just came out of my mouth, and it was easy. It’s because I feel good about myself as a person and the person I’m with."
Sounds like Miller is in good frame of mind, a good sign to be sure.
--- Bucky Gleason