I love a good game with the Philadelphia Flyers – the one team in the NHL that I hold the most intense hatred for – well at least second to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s a
different kind of hatred. I don’t mind the Maple Leafs sweater – its really their fans and the invasion of Buffalo that takes place when they visit the First Niagara Center.
With Philly its different, its like I throw up a little in my mouth every time I see their jersey, or I want to give the person wearing it a hearty throat punch to ask them what was so wrong with their childhood that they would support such a franchise.
But I digress, there is a hockey game to talk about. The topic – Jhonas Enroth. Is he a serious contender to backstop an NHL franchise on his own? We have seen sparks of greatness from him – and long stretches of just worthless hockey that no one would want to see out of their backup goaltender.
Just take a look at the numbers. If you went strictly by wins and losses, you would think that Jhonas Enroth was one of the worlds worst goaltenders, not on the short list for the Olympic roster for Team Sweden.
In 14 starts this year Jhonas Enroth is just 1-9-4. But he only has a 2.46 goals against average (better than Ryan Miller) and a .916 save percentage (GAA and save percentage not counting tonights totals).
The problem is – the team easily plays very different in front of Jhonas Enroth, with the team offering very little support offensively and defensively. In eight of his thirteen games, he has allowed 2 or fewer goals. Four games he allowed three goals, he has two four goal games, and one six game stinker, but against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Buffalo Sabres are in rebuild mode. If you don’t keep Ryan Miller beyond this year, Jhonas Enroth is not your starting goaltender for next season, unless you want to unravel his mental ability to be a number one goalie. Enroth is ready – but does he have the ability to embrace the suck for a year and be good for the team when winning returns.