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Wilson: Miller to start throughout Olympics

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Quick will serve as Team USA's back up in Thursday's game.

Get used to seeing Ryan Miller in goal for Team USA.

U.S. coach Ron Wilson said Wednesday that the Buffalo Sabres' goaltender will start Thursday against Norway -- and the rest of the way through the Olympic tournament.

"Ryan will play every game unless something drastic happens," Wilson told the media, adding that he believe the games are spread far enough apart to go with only one goaltender -- especially one who is second in the NHL in goals-against average (2.16) and save percentage (.930) despite a slump in February.

"This is the playoffs as far as I'm concerned," Wilson said. "You usually go into the playoffs with your hot goalie playing the last six weeks of the season, and you don't think during the playoffs 'I ought to give my backup some work because what if something happens to the starter.'"

Miller stopped 14 of 15 shots in the Americans' tournament-opening 3-1 win over Switzerland on Tuesday. The U.S. is expected to beat Norway before a showdown against Canada on Sunday night.

Canada is alternating goaltenders early in the tournament, using Roberto Luongo on Tuesday against Norway and Martin Brodeur on Thursday against Switzerland. Wilson's only alternating will come with Miller's backups -- Tim Thomas dressed on Tuesday and Jonathan Quick will serve that role on Thursday.

Quick, a 24-year-old who has taken the No. 1 goaltending job with the surprising Los Angeles Kings, doesn't have the experience or composure that Miller has at this stage of his career.

"(Miller) competes really hard," former U.S goalie standout John Vanbiesbrouck told USA Today. "Now it's just a matter of whether they can galvanize together and he can lead them."

Vanbiesbrouck said Miller has his own style.

"He's a hybrid goaltender that offers consistency and calmness," he told the paper. "He's not going to beat himself. Even if a goal goes off the heel of his stick, like it did against Switzerland, it doesn't get to him. You hear terms to describe goalies and one is unflappable. And Miller is an unflappable type."
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