The Sabres Observer
by @DaveDavisHockey on 03/08/13 at 11:14 AM ET
Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth raised a few eyebrows last night when he told the media, following a Buffalo 3-2 shootout loss to New Jersey in which cramps caused him to leave the game after Patrick Elias' game-tying goal with just over a minute left in regulation, that he probably shouldn't drink coffee on game days.
While this admission irritated some Buffalo media and fans, coffee isn't exactly a newfound discovery among NHL players.
Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg has been known to drink it on game day:
[3:00 PM]: Drinks a cup of coffee. Takes his time and charges his batteries for the game.
Retired NHL antagonist Darcy Tucker was mocked by Glen Healy for routinely mixing it with cola before games.
Another former NHL'er, Chris Chelios, would already have finished his first cup by the time his teammates showed up for work.
But if you think Enroth has a problem, it can't compare to the caffeinated trials of goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin early in his career. Back in the day, the Russian was known to chug pots of coffee between periods. It got so bad that during a game against Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens, Khabibulin needed IVs to restore his fluids and was hospitalized overnight:
"He was very poorly conditioned in Phoenix," (John) Tortorella said. "He always felt he could just rely on his talent."
Khabibulin smoked and drank lots of coffee.
"I like coffee," he said. "Most Europeans do."
The problem was, Khabibulin was slamming it between periods, hoping the caffeine buzz would, as he said wryly, "keep me awake."
Coffee is a diuretic. So between that and the sweat Khabibulin lost during games, he kept getting dehydrated. It was so bad during one game against the Maple Leafs, Khabibulin needed IVs to restore his fluids and was hospitalized overnight.
"I was white as the walls in Maple Leaf Gardens," he said.
Enroth said he plans to drink more water and Gatorade on game days. Thankfully, he at least played well enough last night that we won't have to wait until coffee bean harvest season for Ryan Miller to get another game of rest.
Thanks to KK colleague George Malik for his contributions to this piece.
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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: email@example.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]