Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jhonas Enroth Proves To Be Capable Backup

It wasn’t that long ago that Jhonas Enroth drew the ire of new interim head coach Ted Nolan.

Just one night after Ryan Miller kept the Buffalo Sabres in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a game in which the team ended up winning 3-2 in overtime – Jhonas Enroth allowed four goals as the Sabres looked like two completely different teams.

Of course, we have seen that before – the blue and gold skating differently in front of their backup goaltender.

It appeared after that 4-2 loss in which Enroth saved 18 shots in a 22 shot effort, that his ice time was going to be severely limited and that Ted Nolan would be “riding his horse”.

I didn’t think that was a fair comparison, given the fact that all of Enroth’s previous starts were ending the same way Ryan Miller was ending his, solid goaltending but the offense and defense being the overall let down.

If that one game showcase was going to cost Enroth ice time in the eyes of Ted Nolan, then tonight should be an eye opener for the interim head coach.

While the game clocked ticked down, I looked at a friend of mine, and said, you know, this is very reminiscent of Dominik Hasek versus Martin Brodeur – sixty minutes of hockey with nothing allowed by either team and both goalies standing perfect.

Sure – Buffalo didn’t really test the New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider as much as they should have, and Enroth was very square tonight not having to make too many elaborate and magnificent saves – but all the same Jhonas Enroth vs Cory Schneider proved to be just as entertaining as Hasek vs Brodeur.  The only thing that could have made the night better, was Enroth getting a bigger piece of the final shot that went in and the game going into an extended shoot out.

But I digress…

Jhonas Enroth proved tonight that put an inspired team in front of me, and I can be just as good as Ryan Miller, the guy who could be already mentally checked out of your organization.  Enroth can be just as good as the silver medal goaltender who is busting his ass in net for you given the fact that he is fighting for the starting job for Team USA.

Sure he is off to the worse start statistically in his career in which he has started at least five games – but can you really blame him for that?  Sure he is no Ryan Miller, but given the right amount of time in net, is a quality goaltender.

Jhonas Enroth just made another strong case to be given much more credit that Ted Nolan initially wanted to give him.  Ted Nolan needs to realize this isn’t Dominik Hasek and Steven Shields type scenario here, and he has a much stronger goaltending tandem.

The only thing that would have made this save any better would have been RJ behind the mike giving us the call.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Cory Schneider Dominik Hasek Jhonas Enroth NHL

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