The Buffalo Sabres will head into this weekend needing a couple of points to maintain their status as a playoff team. Winning on Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes will pretty much seal the fate of the ‘Canes team that continues to fool themselves by winning here and there to stay alive for eighth in the Eastern Conference.
The Buffalo Sabres are going to be without starting goaltender Ryan Miller for the foreseeable future. He did not practice with the team at all today. Expect to see Jhonas Enroth in net on Saturday – unless the rest the team is giving Miller puts him back to 100%. I am at the point where if I was Sabres management and I was confident that my team is going to make the playoffs, that no rush be put on Ryan Miller. This accomplishes two goals – one your top goaltender is well rested and physically fit to handle the physical and mental demands of the playoffs; and you get to see what the kid does in the pressure cooker of the last week of an NHL season on a team fighting for a playoff berth. If Enroth continues to pick up critical points along the way – why put Ryan Miller into a position where he comes back early and injures himself long term?
Today is April Fools Day, and I probably could have done any number of things in order to pull a prank of the readers of Sabrenoise, but I after the long week I had, even I don’t have the energy to pull off an epic prank this year. Did someone get you with an April Fool’s Day Prank, let us hear about it in the comments section. It’s a shame that the NHL trade deadline falls before April 1st. Of course, how many gullible people out there fell for any elaborate or simple prank that made them believe there was going to be an NFL season this year.
With Ryan Miller not even making the trip south to the Capital Region – it is likely that Jhonas Enroth will lead the team onto the ice for both games this weekend. I am not totally against that. Even on the worst case scenario that nothing goes right on Saturday, you beat Carolina on Sunday in regulation, and it voids the weekend. Given the way the kid played against New York, I would lay odds on the Sabres are going to wakeup Monday morning no worse for wear than when they go to bed tonight.
Watching the out of town scoreboard will be a second objective for many Sabres fans this weekend, While the Sabres are trying to stiffle the Capitals, the Carolina Hurricanes will continue the pipedream of playoff hope against the New York Islanders, who are playing for the draft lottery, a place they have been in since November.