Sunday, February 21, 2010

Illogical and Heart-Felt Pride

We've been talking about Ryan Miller playing in the Olympics for so long that for me, it had started to lose all meaning.  It was just another talking point this season.  Tyler Myers is really tall, Lindy Ruff has been here through 1,150 NHL coaching changes, and Ryan Miller will probably start in goal for the United States. 

He's ours, Buffalo. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

But now I'm sitting on my couch, a little teary-eyed, remembering exactly what it means.  Ryan looked amazing tonight, holding down the fort while his team got out-shot 45-22.  He looked cool and calm and as excited as you know he was about winning that game, he was humble and down-to-earth in his postgame interviews.  What a long way he's come from that kid who got pummeled in Detroit and cried in the postgame all those years ago.  You guys, he's the best United States goalie and arguably the best goalie in the league right now and he's ours.  He just stopped a team consisting of some of the most talented hockey players in the world and he's ours.  He didn't do it by himself - among other things, Ryan Kesler's empty netter was the most well-deserved empty net goal I've ever seen - but he held his teammates in it when they were struggling to get their feet under them.  And he's ours.  He's OURS.  Every time someone on the broadcast said "Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres" I got little chills.  I've written before about how crazy it is to feel genuine attachment to athletes, people who wouldn't recognize us on the street, and while it makes no logical sense, I'm absolutely bursting with pride right now.  I'm so proud of him.  I'm so proud of how hard he's worked and how far he's come.  I'm so proud that lots more people are suddenly appreciating how good he is.  I'm so proud of how smart and articulate and seemingly good-hearted he is.  I'm so proud he's representing us.  I know it's just the preliminary rounds and the United States could still go down, but for tonight wow, what a terrific moment for him, for the Sabres, and for us.

Let's go Buff-a-lo!


Caroline said...

Couldn't have said it any better, Heather. Ryan Miller is absolutely wonderful and he's ours! :)

Anne M said...

That was pretty fantastic. And even though he's not a Sabre anymore (god knows!), I was pretty stoked and proud about Drury last night too. First for the goal, then for his joyful celebration with Miller at the end of the game. Almost made me want him back.

Kel said...

I second the warm fuzzy feeling I got seeing Miller and Drury congratulate each other.

It's exciting to see Miller get this international attention, and also for Drury to get some praise since he seems under appreciated in NY

Mark B said...

I'm thinking that contract extension was a pretty good idea now!

I also want to publicly apologize again for posting a comment on this blog in the 07-08 season that Ryan was an average goalie and would always be so. I'm pretty dumb.

You know what's great too? Now every team in the NHL is thiking: "Man, I don't want to play the Sabres in round 1." I love it!

I also felt my Chris Drury man crush come back a bit last night. All of a sudden his contract doesn't sound so bad and want to trade Roy and Stafford for him (and then call up Ennis). Emotion will do that to a person.

Anne M said...

Mark. I was totally thinking I would send Roy and Stafford to NY for Drury! I have come to my sense, but for a minute, there, it just seemed like the perfect idea!

Heather B. said...

I admit that when Drury scored my reaction was more, "Oh, lord, it HAD to be that guy, didn't it?" But I had a ton of affection for him darting over to Ryan at the final buzzer and looking so pumped for him and the team. That was totally sweet.

Mark B said...

Okay, I changed my mind: some combination of Rivet and another guy for Drury!

Okay I'll stop now. :)

Becky said...

Rivet and V...., well anyone, for Drury. Guess I'm getting over my Drury dislike too. Never thought it would happen :)

Joe from NYC said...

You are right. Miller is ours and Darcy was right in saying Miller is the Sabres star. After last night's game, I don't think I'll ever give credit to the sabres defensemen for making him look good ever again.

As for Drury. I'm hoping that maybe last night's game and the possibility of getting gold could be the final nail in letting by gones be by gones.

Instead of kissing the guy's ass or taking condescension at his play in NYC, maybe we can just look back and say..."you know what? He's a good player and I wish him the best. But I'd rather the Sabres be more successful"

I just hope if Miller guides the USA to gold, the Sabres don't use him as an excuse to never make a trade ever again.

Heather B. said...

Let's not get crazy here, people. I have some residual affection for Drury and I really wish it had worked out so he was still playing here, but I'm not trading anyone for him now. :P

"you know what? He's a good player and I wish him the best. But I'd rather the Sabres be more successful"

That's more than fair, Joe, and more or less where I am with him. I appreciate everything he did while he was here and hope he's happy. I just don't need to hear about him and how the Sabres screwed him every time he does something good for the rest of all time. :)

Matthew said...

He may never be as breathtaking as Hasek was for those 3-4 years but he could be our best ever when it is time for him to retire. For those who follow this team year in and year out, it sure is special to see Ryan finally put it all together. There were times where I wondered if he would but we all saw that it was possible. Now his time is coming as a top goalie and yes, he is ours.

Vanek's Hair said...

Love this Miller post. I felt proud as all the sports shows that never reference hockey sing Miller's praises. And it was cool to hear that and think. That's right, he's ours!!!!

I am comfortable having a two week fling with Chris Drury during the Olympics and when they are over we can both return to our "regular lives"

Becky said...

Sorry - I was being over enthusiastic; I would not even consider a Tyler Myers trade for Drury. I was just a fleeting daydream that all the pieces would come together again, at least thru the Stanley Cup.