Buffalo Sabres 2013 Season Preview: The Goalies

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres goalies should be very familiar to fans of the blue and gold, but let's take a look anyway at the starter and backup that will be keeping pucks out of the Buffalo net this season.

The Starter

Ryan Miller

#30 / Goalie / Buffalo Sabres



Jul 17, 1980

Ryan Miller is the second greatest starting goaltender in Buffalo Sabres history, according to our readers and their votes for the All-Time Sabres goaltender. However, come season's end, he may no longer be a member of the blue and gold. Miller's contract expires at the end of this season, and the rumors will be flying fast and furious this year on his fate at the trade deadline or on July 1.

Until then, however, he'll be the Buffalo Sabres starting goaltender, and will once again provide slightly above average but fairly consistent tending for Buffalo. Miller's even strength save percentage has remained largely the same over the past five seasons, while his special teams play was what separated his Vezina season from the rest.

Speaking of the Vezina, Miller last won the award in the Olympic year of 2010, when he carried Team USA on his back to the gold medal game, where they ultimately lost to Canada. Of course, 2014 is another Olympic season, and it's not unreasonable to think Miller could pick his game up this season with a spot on the Team USA roster on the line.

Regardless of his fate in the Olympics, at the trade deadline, or in free agency, Miller will continue to make big saves on breakaways, make you incredibly nervous while handling the puck, always be in position for a save, and let in the occasional softie (but then again, who doesn't?) Sabres fans should enjoy the ride, as it will likely come to a halt sometime this year.

The Backup

Jhonas Enroth

#1 / Goalie / Buffalo Sabres



Jun 25, 1988

Over the past few seasons, Jhonas Enroth has turned himself from decent-but-too-small AHL goalie into a fairly reliable, if streaky, backup NHL goaltender. Fans have been clamoring for him to get a shot as the Sabres starter, and depending on the fate of Miller this year, they might get their wish.

Enroth's claim to fame is his wild, sliding style that's significantly more unorthodox than the perfectionist butterfly that Miller plays. Most fans fondly remember Enroth's mask-less save from a few years back, but they tend to ignore the massive rebounds he gives up and the fact that his slidey-widey style occasionally leaves him way out of position.

Still, Ron Rolston showed trust in Enroth last season, and the young tender responded with a long winning streak. We'll likely see a decent amount of #1 this season regardless of Miller's fate, but it's certainly nice to know that Buffalo has a backup goaltender that they can rely on when needed.

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