The Sabres Observer
by @DaveDavisHockey on 06/08/11 at 11:55 AM ET
With two elite netminders battling it out in the Stanley Cup Finals, I’d like to think that maybe the cheap-goaltending-is-better silliness is going to get a well-deserved reprieve.
That’s not likely to happen in Buffalo in the foreseeable future, however, thanks in large part to the storied 15-game NHL career of Jhonas Enroth.
Brian Koziol of WGR-550 sanely wrote today that Ryan Miller is still the answer in Buffalo, although his piece that touched on the ubiquitous debate concerning the Sabres franchise goaltender wasn’t without its share of pure gold:
“While I think it’s insane to be able to have any clear judgment on Enroth’s success in the NHL, there were plenty of people who called into the postgame show during the playoffs and other WGR talk shows about why Lindy Ruff didn’t play Enroth and rotate “the hot goalie” as Peter Laviolette did with the Flyers.”
There you have it, folks. Ruff should be ashamed of himself for not adhering to that innovative goaltending carousel-riding strategy that helped carry the Philadelphia Flyers through the playoffs.
Considering this is the same town where a large contingent of fans and media wanted Frank Reich to supplant Jim Kelly as starting quarterback of the Bills while the team was doing nothing but going to the Super Bowl every year, I suppose this brilliant Miller-benching epiphany shouldn’t come as a surprise.
It’s noteworthy that the Miller-Enroth subplot isn’t just the creation of some crazy fans who love to complain, but also some mainstream radio and print pros who harped on it all season. I’d like to think they’ll take Miller’s body of work in the 2011 postseason under advisement.
Until the Sabres can acquire players in the same class as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Daniel Briere and Chris Pronger, I’ll stick with the goalie I have now. And with the salary cap expected to exceed $62M, it’s not like there still won’t be enough room for major upgrades.
The performance of a healthy Miller against the Flyers should have put to bed any thoughts of the Sabres pursuing a Stanley Cup without him. Subpar injury-plagued regular seasons notwithstanding, it was a ridiculous idea all along.
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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]