With the aging Craig Anderson and the unproven Eric Comrie in the net for 2022-23, fans have the right to be concerned about the Buffalo Sabres goalies.
The Buffalo Sabres are without a doubt better than they were this time last season. However, goaltender remains a major concern for those in and outside of Sabres circles. Many fans have asked questions regarding the unit, which includes Eric Comrie, Craig Anderson, Malcolm Subban, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
The first question is the most common, so therefore I did not list it in the following sections. That question involves who will see the most playing time at goaltender in 2022. The answer is Eric Comrie, who is just 27 and coming off of a stellar, albeit limited performance in 2021-22.
But with Comrie as the frontrunner to receive the most ice time, there is another major concern surrounding him. Let’s talk about it and two others.
Will Eric Comrie capitalize on extended playing time with the Buffalo Sabres?
Last season in Winnipeg, Comrie played in 19 games, tallying a 2.58 GAA and a 0.920 save percentage. It was a good season for the goaltender who never received a real chance to shine, especially since he played behind one of the league’s greatest goalies in Connor Hellebuyck.
Now that Comrie will likely set a new career high with the Buffalo Sabres in terms of games played, how will he fare? The real answer is that he should be okay if he gets a break every few contests. For every two or three games (on average) he starts, Craig Anderson (or potentially another) would come in as relief for a game or two.
There is also a possibility we even see Luukkonen step up in early 2023 if he proves he can remain healthy and consistent in Rochester. This is assuming the Sabres don’t keep him around as the third goaltender on the active roster early in the season. And though the possibility of such a scenario is slim, but not farfetched.
If Comrie plays in three straight outings and takes every fourth and at times, fifth game off, he should see ice time in no more than 45 contests. Ideally, closer to 40, which will double his ice time from last season but it shouldn’t be so overwhelming that he hits a wall.