D.O. had a good fanshot of an article from the Sporting News yesterday that I figured I would elaborate on. In the article, Ray Slover expects the Sabres to make a move at the deadline for a goalie now that Miller is going to be out for a while. The News is reporting that ankle injuries are the goalies' worst friend, they are continually bothersome and they are hard to get over.
The first place to look is at the goalies that we have now. As I said a few days ago, the Sabres do have to trust Lalime. Lalime has played better than his stats suggest. He does have a 3.17 GAA with a .895 SV% which is not stellar but could be much worse. He is 2-7-1 in his 10 starts this season, but has played in games that we were expected to lose, either against hard opponents or the second game in two nights. Lalime is a capable goalie, he went 16-12-2 for the Blackhawks last season with a 2.82 GAA. When he is not setup to fail, he can play well. Jhonas Enroth will serve as Lalime's backup. He is going to be a wild card in all of this because this is his first season in North America. He is 18-17-5 with the Pirates this season with a 2.71 GAA and .915 SV%. He hasn't played out of this world but he hasn't played poorly either. I personally don't think that Enroth is going to make much noise while he is here but it will be interesting to see.
If the Sabres decided that Lalime is not the answer and decided to trade for someone, Slover suggests a few names that might be on the market for the Sabres in Manny Legace, Vesa Toskala, Manny Fernandez, and Kevin Weekes.
|2008 - Vesa Toskala||50||2862||20||17||10||3||158||3.31||1390||1232||.886||1|
Toskala is someone I hope is not on the Sabres radar. He has struggled all season and while a change of scenary may make a difference its not going to be to the Sabres due to the fact that they are in the same division.
|2008 - Manny Fernandez||22||1287||14||4||3||1||48||2.24||606||558||.921||1|
While Fernandez's stats look much better he falls under the same situation that Toskala falls into, the Bruins are in the same division. Fernandez has played much better since the knee injury he suffered last season and that may be a case of playing behind a good defense.
|2008 - Kevin Weekes||13||697||7||4||0||0||27||2.32||354||327||.924||0|
Weekes may be an interesting choice for the Sabres. Brodeur is going to be coming back probably within the week for the Devils and Weekes would be the odd goalie out. Clemmensson has played well for the Devils and kept them in the playoff race.
|2008 - Manny Legace||29||1452||13||9||2||1||77||3.18||669||592||.885||0|
Legace has been a hit or miss goalie this season for the Blues. He currently is sitting in Peoria to try and find his game back because he was just outplayed by Chris Mason. Legace would be a interesting choice for the Sabres because they would only be on the hook for half of his $2.5 million salary and he would be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
There is one choice that I would like to see the Sabres make if they feel that acquiring a goalie would be the right way to go. Getting Marty Biron back from Philly. There have been some rumblings that Biron was going to be moved by the Flyers because they felt that he wasn't going to be the goalie that they needed heading into the playoffs. The reason the Sabres traded Biron was because he was a number one goalie playing as a backup. Biron still lives in the Western New York area and would not have to acclimate himself to this team because most of these players still know him. The Flyers have to move some cap space around to be able to fit Briere into the mix when he comes back this week from his groin injury. The pieces are all there for the Sabres to get Biron if they really wanted him. I think from a fan standpoint, it would relieve some of the angst due to the fact that we know what Marty can do and how he plays. He could carry this team to the playoffs and allow the Sabres to rotate goalies if they wanted.
There is an issue with this move though, Lalime. Lalime has a two-year contract to serve as the backup for this team and bringing in any goalie, including Biron, would show that this team has no confidence in him and make that second year of his contract fairly pointless.