By Mike Harrington
CHICAGO -- If Ryan Miller is trying to impress the Team USA selection committee and perhaps the rest of the NHL that might be interested in a trade, he's sure doing a good job.
Miller made 19 saves in a first period that looked like the JV vs. the varsity and finished with 38 saves in the Sabres' 2-1 loss to the Blackhawks. The guy should sue for non-support: He's 0-4 despite a 2.29 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. He's second in the league in shots against (153) and saves (144).
"He's basically at this point one of the best players in the league in terms of influence on their hockey team," coach Ron Rolston said.
"We started to play 5-on-5 more. Our 5-on-5 chances were pretty good," Miller said, when asked about the difference over the final 30 minutes. "We just can't get ourselves in all these different situations over the course of the night ... We find ways to put ourselves in bad situations. Tonight it was the penalties. It left the first period as us having to defend and run around and waste energy. It takes time to get into it and [the Hawks] have energy from the night before."
Miller certainly seemed frustrated by his team's lack of scoring but what can he do?
"It puts a lot of emphasis on the back side. You can't make any mistakes," he said. "That's the way the league is going. Scoring trend is downward. We're going to have to earn our goals and find ways to score. If you're not scoring the traditional way, you've got to find, new unique ways."
Click below to hear audio from Miller, Rolston and Vanek