Saturday night marked the final game of veteran goaltender Ryan Miller's career in the National Hockey League and although the moment was a special one for the many, many fans who have followed Miller over his nearly 800 game career in the league, it was extra special for the members of the Miller family.
Although the Ducks failed to pick up the win, eventually losing a close game to the playoff bound Minnesota Wild by a margin of 3 - 4, Miller was overcome with emotion following the game and understandably so. At 40 years of age, soon to be 41 in July, Miller has had a long, outstanding, and decorated career as a goaltender and with everything finally said and done the emotions came pouring out of both Miller and his mom and dad who were both on hand to witness the final chapter in their sons storied career.
Cameras were rolling following the game and thank goodness for that because they captured one of the most special moments of the season when Miller's parents came down to the bench and celebrated the special moment with their son. Miller very briefly spoke with his mom and dad before his face contorted in a mask of emotion, eventually leading to him embracing his parents as he appeared unable to speak as the tears came streaming down his face. It just goes to show how much both his career and the sport itself meant to Miller and his family, and no doubt he will continue to be involved in the game long after his career on the ice has wrapped up.
In spite of the fact that his career lasted a staggering 18 season, Miller remained a steady force between the pipes even in his later years and his overall career numbers reflect that fact. With an amazing 795 games under his belt shared between the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks, Miller's career ends with a 2.64 goals against average and a very respectable .914 save percentage over the span of those 18 seasons. That career also includes a Vezina Trophy for being the NHL's best goalie, a Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the NCAA's best player, and of course an Olympic MVP for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games where his outstanding performance was largely credited with helping Team USA earn a silver medal at that tournament.
A beautiful moment to mark the end of what has been a beautiful hockey career.