Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Goaltending Future: Matt Hackett Or Nathan Lieuwen


Aside from perhaps the Anaheim Ducks, the Buffalo Sabres have some of the best goaltending in the pipeline. With two solid netminders already in Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth, they also have two extremely solid goalies battling it out in the AHL. Not to mention there’s another coming from the WHL who definitely will be a threat in years to come. I’d go out on a limb and say their crease is set for the future.

With the season winding down and injuries piling up, the Buffalo Sabres have gotten a chance to see both Matt Hackett and Nathan Lieuwen in NHL game action. Both netminders made their Sabres debut’s this past week and while both looked solid, only one was able to drag out a W. Albeit against the 2nd worst NHL team.

Lieuwen got his first NHL action coming in after an Enroth injury and stopped all 10 shots he faced. However, in his first game as a starter he didn’t fare as well. He made 23 saves on 26 shots in a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames. While he looked good at times, he showed that he wasn’t quite ready to make the step to the NHL. He’s had a great season winning the crease with the Rochester Americans and has a bright future, but just isn’t there yet.

Hackett on the other hand has that previous NHL experience and comes with a high tutelage from his days with the Minnesota Wild. He took a step back in his AHL development this season but showed in his Sabres debut that an NHL crease may not be too far off. He stopped 35 of 36 shots to snap the Buffalo Sabres seven-game losing streak in a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

While it’s been just one game in blue and gold for both goaltending prospects, the future appears to be bright for both. Which one do you think has the brightest future and the potential to stick with the Sabres post-rebuild when they become contenders?

Nathan Lieuwen or Matt Hackett?

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Featured Goaltending Popular

  • James A. Wild

    I like Hackett and Lieuwen, but for next year I think they’ll go with Enroth and Neuvirth next year becasue theyre both still under contract

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I agree… next year will be Enroth and Neuvirth before one gets shipped out. Was just asking in terms of future future

  • Sabresfan

    Lieuwen looks way more ready…just cause he lost you say he didn’t? Did you actually watch both games? Nathan is wayyyy more calm and poised than Hackett. Plus Hackett actually had the team play decent in front of him. He played well, but Nathan has shown all year he is the better of the two.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Calm down. He looked solid and yes I did watch both games… but IMO he’s not quite ready as of yet. I prefered Lieuwen’s overall play and style over Hackett’s, however Hackett had the poise and NHL experience.

  • Joe

    Hackett is older and has more experience. Fr lieuwens first nhl start vs the experience hacket has lieuwen looks wayyy better than hackett. Im not saying hacket doesnt have a bright future in the nhl but i think lieuwen has way more potential IMO id like to see us trade neuvrith and have enroth backed up by lieuwen

  • lee Munn

    If you are talking “Future/Future” like you said to James A. Wild, than i believe the answer is NONE OF THE ABOVE. I see our true FUTURE goalies as Ullmark & Makarov…. But if it is just the NOW future I see it being ‘Enroth & Neuverth’ as our next year goalies. For this year with Enroth injured, I would leave up Hackett & let Lieuwen be #1 in Roch with Makarov as back-up (send Knapp back down to ECHL)… yes Liewen has played better than Hackett this year, but the AHL experience in more needed for his growth as a goalie & Hackett has to prove whether or not he is worth re-signing for another year(playing him with Buff is not going to hurt their chances of making playoffs..He,he), if he does not show improvement we may do as we did with Leggio just let him go.