The Buffalo Sabres have a lot of problems. For many years, those problems never involved the goaltender. There was usual a dominant starter, a league leader, a decent goalie. They rarely got hurt. When they did, they had a more than capable NHL backup to stop gap the pain that fans would have felt.
The safety net is gone. With Ryan Miller down with what could be a month-long injury, the Buffalo Sabres net now belongs to journeyman Patrick Lalime, unproven and underabused in a blue and gold uniform; and Jonas Enroth of the Portland Pirates. In his rookie campaign in Portland Enroth is winless in his last nine, going 0-6-3 in that stretch. Hopefully he sees very little of an NHL net until he regains some confidence.
Lalime may surprise us, with the added minutes that he will now get, that he would not get with a healthy Miller, he may return to the form of a decent NHL goalie, and be a viable asset for the Buffalo Sabres. With a struggling offense, severely hampered by the loss of Thomas Vanek, and a defense trying to regain its form after many injuries, the Sabres need their goalie to help them win games.
There are a few options for the Sabres if they don’t trust Lalime with a full time net minders position. Manny Legace has been waived by the Blues, and the Sabres would only be responsible for half his salary, and Kevin Weeks of the New Jersey Devils is going to be finding himself without a crease very soon. WIth those two names available, I don’t see the Sabres as making a move to bring one of them in, mainly because you would be replacing a backup with a backup, there really isn’t an urgency to bring another Lalime in to back up Lalime.
If the Sabres start dropping like a rock in the standings, the season could be over before it started.
I will say though, that if Enroth gets more than emergency crease time, or a break for Lalime here and there, you can call it a season, because Sabres management will have mailed it in at that point.