There's that old hockey adage about a goalie "stealing" a game for his team or maybe even an entire playoff series. But as we move into a regular season that is going to be just 48 games, at a time when the NHL is filled with stars in net all over the map, could a goalie steal an entire season for his team?

There's plenty of big names that could. It's plausible one of them is Ryan Miller.

Think of the goalies who dominated the stat sheet last year. Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) after a regular season in which he finished with a 1.95 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. St. Louis had a lights-out tandem in Brian Elliott (1.56/.940) and Jaroslav Halak (1.97/.926). Cory Schneider of Vancouver and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers were both under 2.00 in goals-against average.

Detroit's Jimmy Howard and Boston's Tuukka Rask, who will take over this year from Tim Thomas, were both under 2.10. And any talk of goaltending these days has to include the likes of New Jersey's Hall of Fame bound Martin Brodeur, who led the Devils to the Stanley Cup finals.

"That's a school of thought for a lot of teams with their main guy," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said when asked about the steal-a-season theory. "If that guy gets on a real good roll, it can push your team ahead of another team and gain you a little space [in the standings]. Ryan is more than capable of doing that. All those guys are capable of doing it. But part of getting on that roll is playing well in front of your goaltender, too."

Miller's overall numbers suffered badly last season in the wake of the Milan Lucic incident in Boston and the resulting concussion that dogged him for the better part of two months. Miller finished 23rd in the NHL in goals-against average (2.55) and 20th in save percentage (.916), and both figures were his worst in four years.