And the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy for the 2009-2010 NHL regular season is...Ilya Bryzgalov.
Like Miller, Bryzgalov has taken nobody expected much from and turned them into a bonafide cup contender. The Coyotes rank fourth in the Western Conference and have the fourth most points in the NHL behind Ilya.
His stats are not as impressive as Miller's.
He ranks seventh in the league in save percentage (.920) and is sixth in the league in goals against average (2.30). Bryzgalov is, however, tied for first in the NHL in shutouts with eight and is tied for second in wins with 41.
What separates Bryzgalov from Miller is that, despite conventional wisdom, his team relies on him more.
The Coyotes rank 25th in goals per game (2.56), while Miller's Sabres rank 11th (2.81). Phoenix is the lowest scoring team out of any of the sixteen teams teams currently holding playoff spots other than Boston, yet they still remain one of the top teams in the highly competitive West.
Despite most people's East coast bias, it is Ilya Bryzgalov who deserves the Hart Memorial Trophy over Ryan Miller by the slightest of margins.