Winter Games Athletes
Miller’s first trip to the Olympics was bittersweet. The Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender went 5-0-1 with an American Olympic-record 1.35 goals-against average at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Miller’s lone blemish, though, came in the gold-medal game, as he allowed Canada’s Sidney Crosby to score in overtime of a 3-2 defeat in one of the most thrilling contests in Olympic hockey history. Miller was named the tournament’s MVP, and he would go on to win his only career Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender when league play resumed. Miller’s success in the Olympics and solid play for the majority of his 10-plus seasons in the NHL are main reasons he has been asked to participate in Sochi. Though Miller still is considered to be one of the top American goaltenders, he won’t be entering as the undisputed starter like in 2010. That nod is expected to go to Jonathan Quick, with Miller serving as the backup. While Quick has gone on to win a Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe trophy with the Los Angeles Kings, Miller’s play has dipped in three-plus seasons since the last Games. His 2.63 GAA from 2010-11 through 2012-13 was tied for 29th in the NHL. Miller, playing for last-place Buffalo this season, is 14-22-3 with a 2.74 GAA in 39 starts. The 33-year-old isn’t playing at the level of his stellar 2010 Olympic performance, but Miller will provide a solid, experienced backup should he be needed against tough competition during the tournament in Sochi.