Kukla's Korner Hockey
by @DaveDavisHockey on 01/21/11 at 01:12 PM ET
Sometimes it’s as simple as your best players being your best players.
The Sabres earned a big 4-2 win in Boston last night, and regardless of what the 3-stars voters had to say, this game was about Ryan Miller (38 saves) and Thomas Vanek (game-winning goal, assist) coming through when it mattered most.
On the subject of Miller, there have been rumblings in the local media that he should get a game off before the All-Star break. The talk after last night’s game was about whether or not Patrick Lalime or Jhonas Enroth should start the following night against the New York Islanders.
This is the same media that reminds us continuously that the Sabres as an organization don’t display enough desperation. Sitting a healthy Miller tonight, when the alternatives are a guy who hasn’t won a single game since Easter and a rookie struggling to be a .500 goalie in the AHL, wouldn’t exactly exemplify a sense of urgency.
The Sabres have three games over the next fourteen days, and Miller should play all of them. He isn’t showing signs of fatigue - his sparkling 18-save third period last night is Exhibit A - and he’ll soon be getting an extended break. Sitting him tonight would make no sense.
The Islanders will also be in the second night of a back-to-back. How embarrassing will it be for the Sabres if a team going nowhere starts Rick DiPietro for a second straight night while Miller sits on the Buffalo bench in a game where the Sabres have a chance to get back into the playoff conversation?
Lindy Ruff has had no faith in his backup goaltending, and for good reason. There are six points against losing teams to be had between now and the break. Now is not the time for a revelation.
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