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Miller on the move
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Miller time doesn't come often in St. Louis, where Anheuser-Busch is king, but goalie Ryan Miller is going to change that following his trade from the Buffalo Sabres to the Blues.

From a fantasy perspective, Miller hit the jackpot. The Sabres are the worst team in hockey, both offensively and defensively, and the only reason they aren't worse than 20th in the NHL in goals allowed is because Miller is so terrific.

Miller's .923 save percentage (SV%) ranks 11th in the NHL, but his 2.72 goals- against average (GAA) is just 2.72, 28th best in the league. He has faced 35.28 shots on goal (SOG) per game, worst in the NHL.

According to extraskater.com, Buffalo ranks last in both Fenwick-for (the number of unblocked shots a team takes divided by total unblocked shots for and against) and Corsi-for (same as Fenwick-for but with blocked shots included) percentage in close situations (score tied in any period or within one goal in the first or second periods).

Meanwhile, Miller's new team ranks in the top 10 in both Fenwick-for and Corsi-for percentage and has given up the second least shots on goal per game in the NHL.

The Blues have been demonstrating their defensive prowess for several years and making life very easy for netminders Jaroslav Halak, who was included in the trade, and Brian Elliott.

In 2012-13, Halak had an .899 SV%, the worst in all of hockey, but his 2.14 GAA ranked ninth, and Brian Elliott had a .907 SV% and 2.28 GAA.

It's been a similar situation this season, as Halak has put up a .917 SV% and a 2.23 GAA while Elliott has recorded a .917 SV% and a 2.08 GAA.

If Miller's SV% was .917, his GAA would be 2.94, an average that would rank in the bottom five along with the Reto Berras and Ondrej Pavelecs of the league.

Miller has raised his game over the last four months after a disastrous start that saw him post a .912 SV% and a 3.40 GAA in his first 13 starts. The goaltender has registered a .929 SV% and a 2.40 GAA over his last 27 outings.

He also should be plenty fresh enough to start the majority of St. Louis' 23 remaining games.

The 33-year-old was part of Team USA in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but unlike 2010 when he played 355 minutes over six games in Vancouver, Miller played just one game.

Miller's biggest issue in St. Louis will be deciding what to do with all the extra downtime he's going to be getting in the crease compared to Buffalo, where he was under fire constantly.

Maybe he can take up a hobby, do some light reading or get his taxes done. Or maybe he should just get a phone line installed on the ice to field calls from Halak, who is going to need a sympathetic ear to complain to about Buffalo's defense.

Who better to listen to him than the man who just spent nearly 11 seasons with the organization?




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.


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