The Sabres Observer
by @DaveDavisHockey on 10/27/11 at 03:10 PM ET
“Not surprised to hear Enroth is starting in goal for Sabres tonight. Ruff needs to give him regular starts and not fall into his old habits.” - Jerry Sullivan, Buffalo News
Sadly, opinion columns from our trusted local reporters in Buffalo will amount to less entertaining reading this season, thanks in part to the reality that Lindy Ruff’s ongoing media facewash over his management of goaltenders will likely be on indefinite hiatus.
We’re only a few weeks into the season, and folks here are already treating Coach as if he returned from summer counseling sessions determined to finally change his ways. Because we all know it’s his fault that Patrick Lalime couldn’t stop a beach ball during the Buffalo portion of his career.
Jhonas Enroth will make his second start of the season tonight for the Sabres as they face Columbus, and Ruff in turn will be getting the ole’ “atta boy, it’s about time” treatment from everyone who has waited so long for the leader of their beloved team to finally listen to them.
You know how it’s been going here lately. Flat screen televisions in the bathrooms and fan requests for game time arena music have arrived. Anything we’ve asked for from our terrific new management team, we’ve received. They even changed the color of the cotton candy, for crying out loud. So it’s only fitting that the coach is responding to the media and fans suggesting he play his backup more often, right? Okay, that’s going a bit overboard.
But I had a really crazy thought about Ruff’s newfound strategy. Maybe having a guy who has won 10 of his first 13 decisions in the NHL has something to do with it.
It could just be me, but I think coaches often have decisions made for them. They don’t always create philosophies on things like goalie usage, but rather it’s based on the talent with which they have to work. Martin Biron had a goals-against average on the wrong side of 3.00 during his last season here. He started 18 games. Was he underused?
In an uber-competitive league where teams often make or miss the playoffs by a margin of a couple of loser points, it’s not hard to understand why you don’t want to start a guy who isn’t playing well. And it’s pretty easy to figure out why you want to see more of a young player who has been so successful and looked so comfortable this early in his career that, right or wrong, it’s only a matter of time until the hotstove to trade Ryan Miller gets fired up again.
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About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]