Five reasons why the Buffalo Sabres' Ryan Miller could steal the net from Quick in Sochi

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BUFFALO, N.Y.-Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick owns a Stanley Cup ring, a Conn Smythe Trophy and an ESPY Award, all earned in the past 18 months. He also was runner-up for the Vezina Trophy in 2012.

He has to be the favorite to be the USA's No.1 goalie at the Olympics in Russia.

But here are five reasons why the Buffalo Sabres' Ryan Miller could steal the net from Quick in Sochi:

1. Groin muscle problem: Quick is expected to return to action around Christmas, but no one can be sure how well he will be playing when he comes back. Plus, there is the possibility there could be a setback in his rehabilitation.

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2. Miller's past Olympic history: The last time we saw Miller in international competition, he was the most important player during the USA's silver-medal-winning performance in 2010. He was like Atlas holding up the Earth. He was that good. That won't be forgotten if Quick stumbles.

3. No study abroad: Although Quick was the USA's No.3 goalie at the Vancouver Games, he didn't play a minute there and has no international playing experience.

4. More familiarity: The U.S. coaching staff of Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh Penguins), Peter Laviolette (formerly of the Philadelphia Flyers), Todd Richards (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Tony Granato (Penguins assistant) are all Eastern Conference coaches who have seen more of Miller than Quick. In theory, they know Miller better.

5. Miller's moxie: It's been clear this season that Miller feels as if he has something to prove. Last season, he certainly wasn't the same goalie he was in Vancouver. He worked out aggressively in the offseason, and the read on him this season is that he has been a lion in his cage. The Sabres have been a bad team, but Miller has been consistently good. His save percentage is .920 compared to Quick's .905.

USA TODAY Sports U.S. goalie ranking: 1. Quick. 2. Miller. 3 (tie). Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings) and Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils). 5. Tim Thomas (Florida Panthers). 6. Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning). 7. Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators).

five reasons why the Buffalo Sabres' Ryan Miller could steal the net from Quick in Sochi:

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