For years, Jhonas Enroth has been the backup goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres. Now, with Ryan Miller traded away to the St. Louis Blues, the top goaltending spot in the Sabres organization has been left vacant.
Could Enroth have what it takes to fill the starting goaltender position?
The 25-year-old has been with the Buffalo Sabres organization since being drafted by Buffalo in 2006 – 46th overall. Enroth began his North American career with the AHL’s Portland Pirates in 2008-09 and has worked his way up the ranks since then.
This season, he’s appeared in 23 games – just three shy of his career-high in the NHL. He has a .907 save percentage and a 2.90 GAA in 1302 minutes played this season. Although he has just three wins on the season, I wouldn’t put too much stock into that — it’s just as much about how the goaltender plays as it is about how the team plays in front of him.
Enroth’s appearance in last night’s loss to the Dallas Stars marked his third consecutive game in net – a first for this season. He’d appeared in back-to-back games three times this season – October 5/8, November 7/8, February 1/3 – but never three in a row until now.
Friday’s game against the San Jose Sharks could have easily been a shakey one for the Sabres as a whole and for Enroth, who was not originally expected to start the game. Nonetheless, he stood tall, and the Sabres came out on top, 4-2.
Despite the acquisition of goaltender Jaroslav Halak, Enroth was in net last night to face the Dallas Stars. Last night’s game saw the end of a three-game winning streak for the Sabres. Although it was a loss on the scoreboard, Enroth had a first-star performance with some incredible, unbelievable saves. He ended the evening with 36 saves, but that number doesn’t begin to describe how solid his performance was.
The question now: Could Jhonas Enroth be the new starting goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres? Does he have what it takes to fill that spot?