EDMONTON, Alberta -- While waiting for tonight's game against the Oilers, I was able to catch Ryan Miller on the telephone from Vancouver and the longtime former Buffalo goaltender provided some big news: He will be the starter Friday night in Rogers Arena when the Sabres take on the Vancouver Canucks.
"I won't lie. I think I'll probably have a little bit of a weird feeling," said Miller, who was traded from Buffalo to St. Louis last February. "I spent such a long time in that jersey, I'll try not to pass the puck to anybody with a Sabres sword on their chest."
Miller is 23-11-1 for Vancouver this year with 2.33 goals-against average and .917 save percentage after signing a three-year, $18 million free-agent contract last July. He is second in the NHL with five shutouts, one off his career high of six set with the Sabres in 2011-12.
Miller did not play against Buffalo while in St. Louis last year. The Blues were in the thick of the playoff race and Miller did not want to cause any undue distraction to his new team's goaltender rotation he was sharing with Brian Elliott. No worries on that end this year.
Miller has lost his last two games, to Anaheim and Tampa Bay, but allowed just one goal in three previous starts -- posting back-to-back road shutouts for the first time in his career (At Philadelphia and Carolina).
"This is a game I'll just try to have some fun with," Miller said. "I'll see a lot of people who meant a lot to me over the years, from the training staff and support staff and the guys I played with for a while. I care about these guys a lot. It will be nice to have a chance to meet them."
Miller, as we've long known, follows the rest of the NHL closely. And he's well aware of the Sabres' epic 12-game losing streak entering the Edmonton game.
"No matter what people want to say, these guys do prepare," he said. "They want to work hard and go out there and compete hard. It's not clicking and sometimes it's a question of guys developing into their roles. It's a tough league and you do feel for them."