Moving to the back-up goaltender in Ryan Miller, he’s been the driving force behind the past two seasons to keep the team in the race as long as possible, especially when Gibson needs days off. He’s a big reason as to how the Ducks even made the 2018 playoffs at all, but his advanced age has some unfortunate effects that hinder his greatness. Despite that, 2018-2019 was another great one for the Ducks.
Old Reliable Comes Up Big Again Surprisingly
Miller only started seventeen of the twenty games he played, but his record was still above .500 at 8-7-2. Not as great as the 21-12-6 record in 2017-2018, but this is a completely different beast to deal with. Much like Gibson, Miller didn’t get much help from his team.
He took 527 shots on net in only twenty games, which is again less than what he took with the extra eight games in 2017-2018, but that’s still a huge problem. Miller is a legend, but not a hockey god. He can’t be expected to make the same amount of saves every year now that he’s gotten to thirty-nine years of age, so his mismanagement on the bench might be another hindrance that cost the playoffs last season.
Injury Bug Strikes Again
Miller went down with an injury during February, which was the month that the Ducks saw ten losses out of thirteen games. His health and Gibson’s health are key factors along with a fixed defense that could have made the team better. Despite the injury and a worse off record than last year, Miller still managed to do his job the best he could and made a bid to help the team that would earn him a contract extension.
Miller as a standalone goalie isn’t as talented as he once was, but considering that his injury didn’t let him play back-up for a few games that could have seen the Ducks winning by some miracle, we don’t truly know how he could have changed things. As reality stands though, this season still wasn’t a bad one for him. It was just average.