The Vancouver Canucks might not have much left to play for, but netminder Ryan Miller doesn’t look like he’s even close to giving up, especially after he made a handful of outstanding saves Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Canucks were trailing 3-1 midway through the third period, but Miller almost singlehandedly kept the Canucks within striking distance with a miraculous reaching glove stop. The save was the result of some unfortunate luck, but not even a pair of bad bounces could get the puck past Miller:
Miller’s ability to locate the puck, spin and grab it before it inched even further toward the goal line is incredible, but let’s not sleep on the play made by a backchecking Linden Vey. Colorado’s Shawn Matthias was right there, ready to poke the puck in, when Vey made a stick check to prevent Matthias from tapping the puck in.
As for Miller, he’s on pace for the fewest wins of his career in a full season, but the veteran netminder may actually be playing better than ever before. Through 45 games, Miller’s 15-21-8 record, 2.66 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and one shutout don’t look quite as sparking as his numbers from his 2009-10 Vezina Trophy-winning campaign. But at 5-on-5, this season is the best Miller has ever been, as he’s posting a .930 SP at 5-on-5.
Miller’s first season in Vancouver was disastrous, but he’s redeemed himself, if even the slightest bit, with his play in 2015-16. Jacob Markstrom has struggled at times in the backup role and he might not be as ready to take over the starting gig as he appeared while with the AHL's Utica Comets last season. And the Canucks have Miller under contract for one more season, which means that will likely be his last chance at making his mark in Vancouver.