Get ready for lots of Ryan Miller in the Buffalo Sabres' net. For starters, figure on both games this weekend.
That was the clear message Lindy Ruff gave after practice Thursday in First Niagara Center before the team took off for Carolina. Miller is just 10-10-2 this year with a 3.05 goals-against average and .900 save percentage, easily the worst figures of his career.
"I really want to get Ryan going," Ruff said. "If he's feeling comfortable playing well and not tired, I'm going to try to lean on him a little bit more and see if that helps him."
Ruff's decision isn't easy. Miller has been below par and backup Jhonas Enroth in a 1-6-2 slide. Looks like the only choice may be to ride the $6 million man.
"You worry about numbers in short periods of time," Ruff s aid when asked about Miller's stats. "Don't worry about the global numbers. Worry about your next game, that those numbers are good. Put a good three-game stretch together. Short-team goals, smaller goals. What's behind him right now is behind him and he's got to put together the best 40 games he's ever put together."
"Right now it's just win and the stat you really start to care about is the wins," Miller said. "I know people pay close attention to it and I even make preseason goals of where I want to be and I'm not
anywhere near where I'd want to be. You look at it from where you're at in this point in time. You do the best you can from this point forward. I can still have good stats from here on out, help the team get to the playoffs."
Tyler Myers said he's ready to go for Friday night's game. Ruff said Ville Leino is being overly optimistic about playing Saturday against Winnipeg, but next week is likely for him. Tyler Ennis had another setback with his ankle and didn't practice today, with Ruff saying he's going to keep him off the ice the next two days and that he may be on a week-to-week schedule.
Click below to hear Ruff's full chat on injuries, Miller and the Sabres' need to forge that two-game winning streak that's eluded them since mid-November.