Ducks goalie Ryan Miller eager to face Canucks and ‘guys I went to battle with’
ANAHEIM — For Ryan Miller, Thursday night’s game will not compare to the evening of Nov. 7, 2015.
On that date, Miller made an emotional return to Buffalo as a member of the Vancouver Canucks and the sellout crowd at then-First Niagara Center greeted the goalie with a standing ovation following a video tribute for a player who often starred for a decade with the Sabres.
But when Miller takes to the Honda Center ice for his first home start with the Ducks, the 37-year-old will still find additional significance in facing the Canucks after spending the previous three seasons with them. There were no playoff games for him there but good memories do linger.
“I guess if you’re ranking emotional connection, it’s hard to beat Buffalo and what the city meant to me,” Miller said Wednesday. “(But) there’s a lot of guys on that team there (Vancouver) who I consider guys I went to battle with and guys that I really liked to be around and they’re my friends.
“There’s that element that’s always going to be there. Even with Buffalo, I think I know maybe two guys on the team. They’ve made some trades. I know more guys now on this team than really going back to Buffalo.”
Miller went 64-68-16 with a 2.69 goals-against average and .914 save percentage with Vancouver. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, in a rare announcement of his starting goalie for an upcoming game, said he had been scheduled to go against his former team after John Gibson started Tuesday against the Kings.
The decision was made easier when Gibson had to go into concussion protocol after a shot taken by the Kings’ Dustin Brown struck him in the mask and knocked it off. Miller had to come in cold and was disappointed that he couldn’t stop Nick Shore’s overtime […]