Training Camp Preview: Goaltenders

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Of all the available roster spots in Buffalo, this is the least interesting matchup going into camp.  Ryan Miller, probably the biggest name on the Sabres roster other than Thomas Vanek, will be at the helm of the ship this year, and no amount of training camp will unseat him.

Ryan Miller – the backbone of the Sabres, armed with a new contract and the guarantee that he is the number 1 guy, training camp is nothing more than a step towards opening night for Ryan Miller.  Number 30 is going to have a long season however, as an early Olympic Camp has him started earlier, plus he is likely to be on the roster headed to Vancouver.  Only an injury will give this weary netminder any rest, it will also kill the playoff chances of this team much in need of a deep run.

Patrick Lalime – has the best seat in the house for every Sabres game, and they pay him to sit in it.  Lalime will play the role of understudy to Ryan Miller, however Ruff is unlikely to remove his star from the crease, unless Lalime can prove he has gotten better since last year.  At 5-13-0-3 last year, it was definitely a dehabilitating factor in the playoff race.  Yet there were times when it wasn’t Lalime but the team in front of him.  I can remember several games when Miller went down last year that Lalime stood on his head, but his offense let him down.  Regardless, a team needs a great tandem to win the Stanley Cup, and right now the Sabres are flying on one engine.

Jean-Philippe Lamoureux – this Portland bound edition to the team will help Enroth as the Sabres try to shore up a short goaltending depth chart in the AHL.  Former OHL goaltender of the year Adam Dennis has not panned out for the Sabres like most of their goaltender prospects, and is often referred to as a stop gap please sit on the bench style goaltender and hope the guy in front of you doesn’t get hurt or were screwed type player.  Look for Lamoureux to do well at Camp, but as far as Blue and Gold Netminders go, Enroth will see big league crease time first.

Jhonas   Enroth – probably the only goaltender in the Sabres organization that has the ability to unseat Patrick Lalime, Enroth will most likely start the season in Portland, but be the first guy on the list to the big club in the event of an injury.  If all else fails, the prospect could find himself relegated to  a complete year in Portland, only coming to Buffalo to sit on the bench until they can sign a free agent goaltending to backup Miller/Lalime if one of them goes down.  All in all, a full year in Portland would be good for the kid, but with the length of Millers deal, I wouldn’t get too attached to Enroth, who will probably suffer the same fate in a Sabres sweater as Marty Biron.

Opening Day Roster – Ryan Miller, Patrick Lalime.

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Tags: Adam Dennis Buffalo Sabres Goaltenders Jean Philippe Lamoureux Jhonas Enroth Patrick Lalime Portland Pirates Ryan Miller Training Camp

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