Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres vs Philadelphia Flyers: Knee Jerk Reactions

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.


Tags: Buffalo Sabres Jhonas Enroth Ryan Miller

  • Vic Soga

    What scares me is what happens if we lose Miller? Can the Sabres play for Enroth? Scary good or scary bad?
    They play too defensive in front of Enroth?

    • JHizzle75

      They got him 3 goals tonight and he still lost. I wish I knew why they can’t win for him.

      • Kevin

        That’s true, however, defensive breakdowns had to do with at least 2 of their goals. I admit he could have stopped a couple of them. Or as the announcer’s like to say ( and it so stupid) He’d like to have that on back. Ya think!

    • Andrew

      Buffalo seems to drop a forward or two back more when Enroth plays, and tries to stretch the ice with breakout passes to the other forward. I don’t see this strategy with Miller as often.

    • Kevin

      Why we so worried about whether what goalie can play for who? We should be more worried about what’s in front of him. If this team could score more goals on a regular basis maybe we wouldn’t scrutinize the goalies so much. Put either one on a team with better “D” and an offense that scores and they will look steady just about every night.

  • JHizzle75

    I would just like to point out the glaring difference in Buffalo’s special teams, as in PP vs PK, and how badly we need skill players on this team. 5 on 5 and PK we were great because Nolan motivates the players to work hard and support each other. On the other hand , PP was terrible because we just don’t have the skill and talent to create chances. If you watch Philly enter the zone on the PP vs how Buffalo enters the zone on PP you see the difference. Philly entered with speed and possession while Buffalo looked lost. To me that was the difference in this game. I wonder what happens now with Konopka, because Scott took 2 stupid penalties in the Florida game and hasn’t played since.
    Konopka took 2 this game that came back to bite us.

  • davidmuscalo

    With Miller gone next season, and I do believe that he will be gone of his own volition, this season will look good compared to next year. Enroth can not carry this team and he is not a player one can rebuild a team around. Unless Miller, Ott and Moulson are resigned there will be no players around which to rebuild the team.

    Sabres management will need to sign a proven NHL-level goalie from free agency, but none will be as good as Miller. Management will also need to find a way to acquire some talent either through free agency or trades. As for the draft, the Sabres may get to pick first, but the payoff, if there is one, will not be next season.

    I hope Murray is up to the task, because Regier left him with a h–l of mess.