Not many folks have figured this out yet, and I don't blame them, because it is just starting to be revealed to those of us who watch Buffalo 82 games, but Miller and the Sabres play to the level of the competition.
Whether Ottawa wins or not will have little to do with the goal tending, and everything to do with the special teams. I would say everything else is a wash outside of this; goal tending, even strength scoring, defense, match-ups, etc.
Pluh, Miller doesn't scare me.
My main concern is that the Sens will be overconfident after beating the super-marty in 5 games.
But it's a mild concern, the boys are pros, they will be prepared, and may want vengence for last year.
Miller is a good goalie and had a great season numbers wise but I would just barley put him in top 10 in the league in goalies. He lets in quite a few soft goals and he really struggled against the Sens during the regular season. Although he is the type of goalie that gets better as the game goes on and as he faces more work , he can steal games and gets in a groove when he faces 30+ shots , we saw this in the series last year.
We just beat Brodeur. Not scared of Miller. 4 out of 10
In my opinion I have always thought Miller was a bit overrated. He is a very good goalie but sometimes he can be overrated. There was a reason the Sabres started Biron as many times as they did and when Miller played he was pretty crappy.
Just get traffic in front of him and he lets in a goal , look at the Ranger series.
Count me as one who thinks that Miller is not a particularly scary goalie. He battles and makes some showstoppers, but he almost singlehandedly knocked his team out of game 5 by letting in that soft goal to Straka. Weird as it is, Drury's clutch-ness seems to have made up for some pretty average plays by the Sabres' goalie. The rest of the team were completely shellshocked there, and if it weren't for Drury, I think they'd have lost that game.
All the talk on the Sabres board is about Emery being the difference in their favour for this series... but he hasn't given up anything worse than that Straka goal, especially not in that crucial stage of a game.
I think the Sens' defence is a huge advantage as well. Neither the Isles nor the Rags have anything approaching the defensive commitment of the group on the Senator backend. Rebounds may be given up, but they won't be for there for the taking the way they were in Buffalo's past two series. Plus, the physical price that the Sabres' forwards will be made to pay will be far steeper than anything they've faced yet. I watched the majority of both those series, and say what you want about Avery, but neither New York team finished their checks anywhere close to as much as the Sens have done this playoff. I was baffled at their willingness to buy into a Sabres brand of hockey on D, and Buffalo's depth eventually meant that both NY teams couldn't keep up.
Bottom line, the Sens need to play to their strengths defensively. Play the man, not the puck, and Connolly's slick stickhandling, Campbell's spin-o-ramas and all the rest of that stuff will be eliminated. If they are able to do that on both defence and offence, I think any worries about Emery vs. Miller become a moot point, because the Sabres are like the Sens of past playoffs - they'll wilt if they're made to pay a physical price every single shift.