Pens fans salute Sabres goaltender Miller
Ryan Miller sure is feeling the love from hockey fans despite not playing a game at Buffalo's HSBC Arena in almost three weeks.
A leading Vezina Trophy contender for the Buffalo Sabres and the MVP of the men's Olympic hockey tournament as Team USA goalie, Miller was saluted by a sellout crowd at Mellon Arena with a standing ovation prior to the game against the Penguins on Tuesday night.
"Usually I hear my name in other ways," he said. "It is nice that the Olympics can help bring that out of the crowds in the NHL because especially out on the East Coast you hear (jeers) a lot, and up in Canada they like to give you a hard time."
Miller gave Canada (twice) and three international other teams more than a hard time during the two-week Olympic tournament that concluded Sunday night in Vancouver with a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss to the Canadians.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in that contest, but Miller received a louder, longer ovation last night from Crosby's hometown NHL arena fans.
Miller allowed only seven goals during the Olympics, and his cumulative performance earned rave reviews from teammates, competitors, national fans and the international media — and a warm reception by Canadian fans at Hockey Canada Place after the gold-medal game.
"He was pretty unbelievable," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said of his Olympic teammate.
Miller, Orpik and Crosby were among several Olympians honored in a pregame ceremony last night. That group also included the following players: Marc-Andre Fleury (Canada), and Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin (Russia) of the Penguins; and Johan Hecht (Germany), Andrej Sekera (Slovakia), Henrik Tallinder (Sweden), and Toni Lydman (Finland) of the Sabres.
Also honored was Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff, an assistant for Canada.
Miller, whose stature on the national sports scene grew during the Olympics, did not play last night. He is expected to start for the Sabres against Washington at home tonight.
Like most returning Olympians, Miller appeared bleary-eyed yesterday following a grueling two-week tournament and a couple of cross-country flights.
He described himself as "a little spaced out" but not disappointed with how he played Crosby's winning goal.
"He made a smart play ... he just put his head up and knew where he wanted to go with (the shot)," he said. "I felt like I had to step out and maybe take some space away. I'd been aggressive the whole tournament. I wasn't going to lose by sitting in the net.
"If he stick-handles once, I have him. If he shoots he scores, so there we go."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins re-sign Megna, Samuelsson to 1-year deals
- Some of the top prospects in Penguins system to be in town for camp
- Pens hope to reach long-term deal with Brandon Sutter
- Penguins are saying captain Crosby’s right wrist may need surgery
- Based on glowing recommendation, Pens hire Agnew as assistant