Questions about Miller:
RBR: The incident with Lucic last year has had everyone talking since the summer about how Miller isn't the same goalie that he was even two years ago. In your opinion has that affected his play much this season?
Andy Boron: I really don't think the Lucic hit affected Miller at all, once he recovered from the concussion he received. It did more to emasculate the rest of the team for not standing up to Lucic than affect anything between Miller's ears. In fact, he's having his best season this year since 2009-2010, and over the past few years we've seen him develop into one of the most steady, unflappable personalities I've ever seen. Despite the black hole of suckitude that is the Sabres this season, nothing has affected Miller's focus or his performance - not Ron Rolston or Darcy Regier being fired, not the change to Ted Nolan, not being booed off the ice at time by his own fan (not his fault) nothing seems to rattle him, wheres in years past he would fly off the handle a few times per season. I don't anticipate playoff expectations will rattle him either.
RBR: What can we Blues fans expect from Miller? I know he is a fantastic goaltender but what type of role outside of that has he taken on in Buffalo? And what are your thoughts of possibly mentoring our up and coming AHL Goalie, Jake Allen?
AB: Miller is a silent-but-large locker room leader - there was a flurry of support (from fans) for naming him captain in Buffalo, and when trade rumors began cropping up, guys like Steve Ott, Tyler Myers, and Henrik Tallinder all spoke about what a huge hole his departure will leave in the locker room. Miller was also very active in the community and involved in charity work with his Steadfast Foundation, which provides support to families whose children are suffering from cancer or leukemia. He's extremely thoughtful and well-spoken in his interviews, and approaches the game in a very intelligent manner, working on his fundamentals constantly and watching a ton of tape on his opponents. As for mentoring other goalies, I don't see that happening. Enroth has said that Miller was less a teacher or mentor, and more of a leader by example. If Allen just keeps his eyes on Miller, and emulates everything he does outside of the rink, that'll be plenty.
Questions about Ott:
RBR: I have seen Steve Ott pull some incredibly dumb and dangerous plays in the past. I have heard claims that he has gotten better about toning down the unnecessary ridiculousness the past few seasons. I am curious if this is the case for him?
AB: Yes, Ott is a bit more tame than he was in his youth, though he still gives plenty of entertaining moments like the visor lick from last season. Serving as the Sabres captain seemed to put a curb on some of his more outrageous antics and chattering, and he's been smart the past two seasons about controlling his hits. Now that the C is off and with the excitement of a playoff race, however, I wouldn't be surprised to see Ott revert a bit to his old cannonballing ways.
RBR: What can I, and other Blues Fans, expect from his play and personality on the ice and in the locker room?
AB: I'll repeat what our friends at Defending Big D told me when the Stars traded Ott to Buffalo, because I know it'll be true for you as well - no matter what your feelings on Steve Ott right now, I guarantee that by the end of the season he'll be one of your favorite players. Ott is the ultimate love him when you have him, hate him when you don't type of guys for his pesky play and sometimes ridiculous antics on the ice. However, he's much more than that - he's one of the most honest, intelligent, and friendly interviews I've ever had, and he'll always stay until the bitter end to answer for his team's play, good or bad. He also does great work in the community, his teammates love him to death, he never backs down from a challenge, and he's a hoot to follow on Twitter as well. You can be sure that he'll give this playoff run everything he's got, and you'll want him back at the end of the season. Just don't offer him a better contract than Buffalo, okay?
Thanks to Andy and Die By The Blade for taking the time to answer my questions and offering his perspective on our two new Blues!