The revolving door of Buffalo Sabres post trade deadline keeps going round and round as yet another Rochester American has been called. Last night Rasmus Ristolainen was recalled and played on the Sabres blue line, today goaltender Nathan Lieuwen has been recalled.
This will be Lieuwen’s first appearance with the Sabres since being drafted by the club in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL
draft. Lieuwen has been splitting time with Matt Hackett backstopping the Amerks in the AHL this season after splitting time between the AHL and ECHL last season.
Michal Neuvirth is out with a lower body injury after seeing plenty of rubber in his last appearance for the Sabres. While Lieuwen was recalled on emergency basis and Jhonas Enroth is healthy, with tonight being the second game of a back-to-back, there is a possibility that Lieuwen get’s his first career start tonight. However, Lieuwen has played the last two nights for the Amerks.
This season Lieuwen has a 17-11-2 record and ranks 8th in AHL in GAA 2.34 and 7th in save percentage .922. While the Sabres have been heavily criticized for their handling of prospects as of late, Lieuwen is a player they can look back at and be happy with his development. He’s a goaltender who retired from professional hockey after concussions, but has since bounced back and tonight will be wearing a Buffalo Sabres sweater. At 6 foot 5, he’s a tall goaltender who can occupy a good chunk of the net and has the potential to be a starter in the NHL one day.
Lieuwen has slowly stolen the crease from the highly touted Matt Hackett with his exceptional play this season. He joins a crowded crease full of goaltending prospects in the Sabres organization but should not be over-looked going forward. He will wear number 50 tonight and whether he gets the start or not, just getting called up has to be a great stepping stone for the prospect.