Y! Sports gives Miller mid-season Vezina and Hart, Dooms him for rest of the season.
In case you guys didn’t know, I read Greg Wyshynski’s Puck Daddy blog on Yahoo! Sports like it’s my job. Wysh’s blog is arguably the largest and best blog in this fuster-cluck of blogs that calls itself the hockey blogosphere .
Yesterday, Adrian Dater gave away mid-season awards on the Versus website to who he thought were deserving of them. Two of these awards were the Vezina (given to the best goalie) and the Hart (given to the player most valuable to his team). Dater decided to give these awards to one Martin Broduer of the New Jersey Devils. Not Ryan Miller. Okaaaaaay, Mr. Dater, if you say so.
Upon reading this ludicrous statement, Mr. Wyshynski took it upon himself to right these very, very wrongs. Wysh crafted a well designed argument and put Marty’s stats up against Miller’s. I urge you to read the entire story here.
Basically (for those too lazy to read the story) Wysh made the point that Miller was only bested by Broduer in Wins and Assists. Millsy has a better GAA and Save Percentage and has an equal amount of shutouts (in two less games). The latter part of that statement is the most important, ya know, the part in parenthesis. IN TWO LESS GAMES. The reason that Broduer has two more wins is that he has played two more games. So yeah.
As great as it is that Wysh has bestowed this honor upon Miller, it scares me a bit. Why does this scare me? Because as a Buffalo sports fan, I was born a cynic. Whenever a Buffalo team is doing well, I’ve learned to not get my hopes up because I know that I will just be disappointed in the long run. Watching your beloved Sabres go to the Conference Finals two years in a row only to lose and then not make the playoffs the next season can do that to a guy. But, I digress. There is one major part of that story by Wysh that really scares me:
“Which is to say that even after swapping out Brent Sutter for Jacques Lemaire, the Devils were still a defending division champion while the Sabres appeared to be a bubble team, if that. Yet Buffalo is two points out of the conference top spot occupied by the Devils heading into tonight … without a player that’s scored more than 12 goals or amassed more than 40 points on the season.”
I added that bold part there. Because I can do that. And you can’t stop me. But to emphasize the part that is in bold, I am a-sacred. Really a-scared. The fact that no one has scored more than 12 goals is good and bad.
First I bring thee, the good. The Sabres have a tendency to put up good numbers without one superstar scorer on a consistent basis. This is great because that means one player can go down with an injury (and I’ll betcha my entire extended family that it’s Tim Connolly) and the rest can pick up the slack with their mediocrity. The fact that one guy (other that Miller and will get that to later) isn’t pulling the weight means that everyone can prosper and so far so good.
Next, the bad. It’s bad for two main reasons. One is that when it’s good, it’s really good. Right now most of the offense is clicking quite well. Guys like Jochen, Connolly, Roy, Pommer, and MacArthur are all playing up to par. The problem is, when these guys get cold (and they will, it’s only natural) the whole system gets messed up and we’re pretty much screwed. The second part of the bad is the real reason this system is working. It’s name is Ryan Miller. Because Miller is playing so well the team can afford to play with such mediocrity. Hell, if I had Miller behind me I would probably slack off a bit too. Eventually, however, something has to give. That something will probably come in the form of the 2010 Winter Olympics. If Miller hits a slump, the team is going to hit a slump. I can guarantee it.
For now it is working just fine. The team is destined to make the playoffs and is only 4 points behind New Jersey for the lead in the Eastern Conference. It would take a fail of epic proportions to derail this team. I fear that this fail will will call itself “February”. As usual, we will see. We can be happy at the moment because the team is hot and I am just fine with that.
It’s good to get points now, especially if we need them later. The acquisition of these points is a direct result of The Man, The Myth, The Miller.