Through everything the Canucks have gone through this season – the losses, the injuries, the mumps, the trades – there has been one constant: solid goaltending from Ryan Miller.
Miller is the Canucks’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey,” this season.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 27, 2017
Every team in the league gets a nominee for the Masterton Trophy, with the winner announced at the NHL Awards in June.
What stands out with Miller this season is how he’s managed to keep a high level of play, despite his age and despite the team in front of him.
At age 36, only Roberto Luongo is older at his position. Despite ideas to the contrary before this season, Miller reclaimed his spot as Vancouver’s #1 goaltender. It’s the 12th season in a row that Miller has held down the top job for his team in the NHL, and the third with the Canucks.
The former Vezina winner is having a fine season with the Canucks, his best in Vancouver, playing behind a poor team. He has a .915 save percentage, with a 18-24-6 record.
The veteran goalie has been tested this month more than any other, playing behind a depleted team, who have given up a ton of shots. In 10 starts in March, Miller has faced over 30 shots nine times, and over 40 shots four times.
Miller’s save percentage is well ahead of back-up Jacob Markstrom’s (.910), who many thought would wrestle away the #1 goalie mantle this season.
But Miller has persevered, and though he’s not likely to win the award this year, his candidacy is something to be proud of.