Ear to the glass: Style points
A newbie, a vet and the league's current top 'tender share secrets of their playing style
Stand up? Butterfly? Frantic scrambler? The task of stopping the puck is the same for all goaltenders, but their methods can vary wildly. We asked three NHL netminders -- American Ryan Miller, Canadian Chris Osgood and Czech youngster Ondrej Pavelec -- to tell us how they arrived at their particular technique. Then we asked past tender and NHL analyst Darren Pang to offer his take on the trio. Because in style, stature or stats, no two goalies are alike. Not in our words, and not in theirs.Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
Born: July 17, 1980, East Lansing, Michigan
2009-10 Stats: 1.97 GAA, .931 SP, 12-3-1 record
Miller's Sabres and their 12-5-1 record have taken the NHL by storm this season, in no small part because Miller has been one of the best goalies in the league. Miller, known for being on top of his crease in a perfect crouch with his hands and legs in exactly the right spot, is in the top two in the league in wins, goals-against average and save percentage. He's patient, fundamentally sound and big in his net, allowing hardly any daylight between his elbows and the side of his body for a puck to squeak through. "Ryan has tightened up his game so much," Pang says. "He's 165 pounds, but when he gets in the net, he looks like he's 220."
To read Miller's tale of finding his style and see similar stories from Chris Osgood and Ondrej Pavelec, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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Ear to the Glass
Do you hear what we hear?
ESPN The Magazine senior writer Lindsay Berra takes readers over the boards and onto the ice every Friday to pick players' brains about the varied and stirring storylines that comprise life in the NHL.
Berra has covered everything from tennis and baseball to snowboarding and roller derby since joining the staff in 1999. But she's played hockey since she was a kid, and her main beat at the Mag has always been the NHL.
She's dropped gloves with Donald Brashear and P.J. Stock, been to Zamboni school, shamelessly hooked Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey and covered hundreds of hockey games, including 10 Stanley Cups. She even shed a tear in the press box when Ray Bourque won his first and only Cup with the Avalanche in 2001, despite her beloved Devils coming up on the losing end. She's also a Jersey girl, a Tar Heel, a triathlete and a yogi.
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