The Lake Erie Monsters recalled Millan from the Denver Cutthroats this morning. After a successful training camp with the Colorado Avalanche in September, Millan manned the net for three of the four Cutthroats' wins to open the season. Solidifying himself as Denver's starting goaltender after splitting duties with Kent Patterson last season is definitely a feather in his cap, but there's no doubt that Millan is glad to trade it for a back up role in the AHL. There is no word yet as to the nature of the opening slot in Cleveland, however. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
Millan has seen AHL action with the Monsters on three previous occasions, so it's no surprise he'd get the nod now. "This past weekend, (he) stopped 34 of 39 shots to put the Cutthroats up 6-5 over the Wichita Thunder in overtime on Saturday, October 26," reported the Cutthroats. "This season, Millan has played a total of 187 minutes with 106 saves and a save percentage of 93%."
When asked why he's started off so successfully with the Cutthroats, Millan said it is due, in large part, to the fact he already had a month of game time under his belt before attending Denver's training camp. He started mid-September with the Colorado Avalanche, where he was highly praised by the coaches, and continued with the Monsters shortly thereafter.
He said it was beneficial working with Francois Allaire during his time in Avs camp. While playing with Boston University, he didn't receive much technical instruction. "I learned a lot of things with (Allaire), and I was only with him for a week," Millan said. He explained that although Allaire only tweaked his play, the focus on moving ahead of the play is already helping him this season, making the game that much easier. "Having that extra coaching really makes a big difference."
Millan's talent goes deeper than just coaching, though. In fact, coach Patrick Roy said on more than one occasion that Millan was the best goaltender on the ice during training camp. What did Kieran think of that? "It's quite the compliment," he admitted with a smile. "I definitely told my friends about that one." But the props did more than just make Millan feel good. "To hear a hall of fame goalie like that thinking you're a good goalie, (it) makes you feel good about yourself. Obviously it helps make you feel more confident. I know I can play well with NHL players."
For however long Millan is with the Lake Erie Monsters, he's going to make the most of it. The competition for net minding in Colorado is fierce, and taking advantage of the situation facing him is paramount to the young goaltender's success.