We are just two weeks away from the Buffalo Sabres opening their 2023-24 season vs. the New York Rangers, so it’s time for another prediction.
Alright, this bold predictions piece was supposed to be published yesterday. But I ran out of time given the early game and the ensuing fallout that ironically enough, served as a motivation for our latest projection.
Anyway, we now know that Eric Comrie might end up winning the backup goaltender job after all. That said, let’s get bold and assume it happens for the purpose of this post. Comrie ends up as the backup while Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is either the third man in the rotation and starts about once every five games or so, or he’s waived and likely claimed because another NHL executive thinks their organization will properly develop him.
Either way, Comrie gets the nod and finds himself playing 30 games behind Devon Levi, who will still start about 40-45 contests – this means someone in Rochester will get the final seven to 12 nods.
Eric Comrie starts 30 games, and finishes 17-7-6, redeeming himself from 2022-23
Honestly, I didn’t see myself getting bold with Eric Comrie here, since I believed it was a lock (even if I endorsed the open competition mindset) that Luukkonen would win the job. Mainly, because with Luukkonen being so much younger that there was a better chance he had more potential over Comrie, whose ceiling is limited.
So what could Comrie’s save percentage and GAA look like? I won’t get too bold here, but since this is yet another bold prediction piece, I’ll roll with numbers closer to his 2021-22 days in Winnipeg instead of what we saw last year.
Why? Because Comrie’s probably breathing a sigh of relief that he won’t be counted on as a 1A, which was the case when he was in Winnipeg. We saw Devon Levi on form this past Tuesday, so all Comrie needs is to start 1-2 games per week while a third man rolls in and plays in a handful of contests in relief thanks to the inevitable minor injuries or extended rest periods.