Ryan Miller handles the off-ice pressures of being the No. 1 goalie in a hockey-crazed city much like he does the on-ice pressures: He doesn't back down from a fight.

And, perhaps more than ever, the outspoken netminder for the Buffalo Sabres has found himself in the middle of the media storm this season, faced with questions about his team's sub-Stanley Cup Playoff position in the Eastern Conference standings and the turmoil surrounding the firing of long-time coach Lindy Ruff (Ron Rolston, promoted from Rochester of the American Hockey League, is the interim coach).

"It's been a little bit disappointing," Miller acknowledges. "But we have a chance at making a run here."

Miller, whose contract with Buffalo expires after the 2013-14 season, took time this week to discuss a variety of topics that have played into a season full of struggles and drama. Among the topics were his team's effort to wrestle itself into position to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (Buffalo is three points out of eighth place in the East and must leapfrog four teams) and his future with the only franchise for which the two-time NHL All-Star and 2010 Vezina Trophy winner has played.