What started as a crowded goalie room for the Buffalo Sabres is finally down to just two goaltenders. After losing both of their goalies from last season’s opening night roster in free agency, Buffalo was set to have an open competition for their two netminder spots throughout training camp and the preseason.
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The Sabres will roll into opening night with Craig Anderson and Dustin Tokarski as their two rostered goalies. Buffalo brought in Anderson and Aaron Dell after losing Linus Ullmark and Carter Hutton this offseason. Anderson and Dell were both signed to one-year deals, so neither of them were ever part of any long-term solutions in Buffalo.
Dell has been placed on waivers, and if he clears waivers, he will join Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen on the Rochester Americans and play in the AHL. So if Dell does end up in Rochester, he will take on the mentorship role and help out the development process of UPL.
Tokarski has earned his spot on the roster as he has been probably the best goalie on the Sabres throughout the preseason. In his appearances this preseason, Tokarski has had a very respectable .965 save percentage and has only allowed two goals on 37 shots faced.
This may not have been the goaltending duo that Buffalo and their fans envisioned at the beginning of training camp, but much like the theme for this season will likely be, the Sabres will just have to take what they can get and work with what they have and just hope for the best.
The best-case scenario in Buffalo is that UPL develops well in Rochester and is ready either by mid-way through this season or by the beginning of next season to be the primary goalie for the Sabres. But for right now, Anderson and Tokarski are the goalie duo in Buffalo.