Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Can Jhonas Enroth Carry The Buffalo Sabres This Season

It is not just time to start the conversation, but to figure out when it is going to happen.  It appears that the Buffalo Sabres are prepared to part ways with goaltender Ryan Miller.  At this point in the season – are you resigning the fact that there is no way possible to make the playoffs?  Can Jhonas Enroth carry the team long enough to make that run possible – or at the very least not embarrass the team anymore than they already have?

First off, lets not put the cart before the horse.  Ryan Miller isn’t going anywhere just yet.  The 33 year goaltender does have one more year on his contract in Buffalo – and he has a no trade clause.  So how much truth can we put in the report that Nick Kypreos put out late last night that the all world goaltender is seeing his final days in Buffalo played out?

With the no trade clause in his contract – he would have to provide a list of teams that he would accept a trade to.  Is Ryan Miller really ready to trade one bad hockey team for another?  His stats back up the fact that he can be a very good goaltender behind a good hockey club.  How many good hockey clubs are in desperate need of a goaltender?  It is unlikely that Miller would accept a trade to a team that needs a facelift in net if the team in front of them is no better off than Buffalo.

There is obvious value for Ryan Miller – and the Buffalo Sabres still have a general manager that overvalues his players.  With the trade deadline approaching – the Buffalo Sabres need to be looking at what they can get this year to restock the shelves for a better run next year.  Don’t think it can be done – the Florida Panthers completely retooled last year.  It’s possible.  You just have to have the right cards.  With a weak goaltender market heading into the trade deadline, Buffalo may be saddled with Ryan Miller through this season, and possibly into next.

It feels like we have had this conversation before.  I like Ryan Miller – if the Buffalo Sabres can put a better product in front of him – he gives them a really good shot at winning.  The odds of him resigning at the conclusion of next season are slim to none – so why not get something in return for him?  They did the same thing with Brian Campbell.

What do you do about your goaltender situation then?  I don’t think that Jhonas Enroth is the goaltender that can carry this team into tomorrow.  He hasn’t even proven to be a quality backup, something Buffalo has been lacking for many years.  Last night’s victory was his first since November 26th, 2011.  Does he have enough in the tank to carry the team the remaining 21 games on the regular season schedule?  Depending on the return for Ryan Miller - he may have to.

The Ryan Miller situation is not the only ones pressing for the Buffalo Sabres.  Captain Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek also have contracts that expire in the same year.  Realistically the Sabres could keep one or even two of the three – but do they really want to?

Who Do You Keep

  • Thomas Vanek (63%, 131 Votes)
  • None - Clean Start (17%, 35 Votes)
  • Ryan Miller (12%, 26 Votes)
  • Jason Pominville (8%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 209

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To make the playoffs, the Buffalo Sabres would need to win at least fifteen of their remaining games, and even then that would only put them at 53 points.  The only feasible teams to catch at this point would be the New Jersey Devils (29) and the New York Rangers (28).  Both teams have games in hand on the Buffalo Sabres and could easily  keep the Sabres had bay by winning fifteen of their own remaining games.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Jhonas Enroth Ryan Miller Trade Trade Deadline

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