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Millers avoid shop-talk

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – The Miller brothers don’t get to spend too much time together, what with their busy hockey schedules and all. So when Ryan and Drew do get together you’d think that hockey trumps all over topics of conversation.

But that wasn’t the case Sunday when Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller visited his younger brother’s Oakland County home Sunday.

“We really didn’t talk about hockey,” Drew Miller said. “It was nice. … We actually didn’t watch football. We just hung out, watched a little bit of ‘Modern Family’ on TV and went to dinner. We were there for about two hours and just hung out catching up.”

The Millers, who grew-up in East Lansing and each starred for Michigan State University, will catch up Monday night, too, when both are expected to play against each other for the first time in nearly two years.

“It didn’t work out the last two games, which is tough,” Drew Miller said. “I wanted to play against him last year, he wanted to get back from his injury and play against us, but it didn’t workout with that either. It’ll be fun to get back on the ice against each other and I’m looking forward to it.”

Ryan Miller was coming off a concussion when the Wings defeated the Sabres, 4-1, in Buffalo on Dec. 2. The Sabres’ All-Star goalie has had a rough season, missing nine games with a concussion/whiplash received in a conclusion with Boston’s Milan Lucic in mid-November.

Miller has four road victories this season, but his last came in a 3-2 decision at Nashville on Dec. 3. Since then he’s lost six straight on the road with an uncharacteristic 3.45 goals-against average.

“A lot of people are looking down on him like he’s playing horrible,” the younger Miller said. “I don’t think it’s all on him, and I don’t think he’s playing bad. I think he expects more of himself, but with the injuries and the concussions he’s coming back and improving every day. … I don’t think he’s necessarily played bad.”

Meanwhile, Drew Miller his putting together one of his best NHL seasons, with seven goals and seven assists in 42 games.

Asked who holds the upper hand if he were to get a breakaway on his older brother, Drew said, “I don’t know about that. Hopefully I do, but he’s pretty good one-on-one. He usually gets me pretty good in the summer.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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