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!