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It’s Still Miller Time, Folks

It was a beautiful weekend to be a Buffalonian; the Bills might have dampened the mood for a bit but the sun was shining, 60 degrees in November, and our Buffalo Sabres have risen to an 8-5 mark after toughing out back-to-back wins against the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators. The great James Hetfield says it best when he growls, ‘Great day to be alive, sir.’

As most are well-aware, the most dramatic events revolving around the Sabres this week have developed in the ole 4′ by 6′ cage. Jhonas Enroth entered 7 minutes into the Philly game on Wednesday and has not looked back since – only giving away three regulation goals in over two-and-a-half games of play. Despite his shortcomings (all 5′ 10″ of them) and inexperience at the pinnacle of hockeydom, he has held his own with a quiet, humble demeanor. In his post-game interviews, Jhonas has stated several times how he only wants the opportunity to compete in games and win for the team. Quite frankly, that’s all Lindy needs out of his back-up goaltender.

But let’s face the facts here. Jhonas Enroth may be the long-term answer for the Sabres backline, but he is NOT the starting goaltender on this team so long as Ryan Miller is in the wheelhouse. How soon we are to forget and discard the goalie that has backstopped this franchise for the better part of a decade. Miller has a storied career; Hobey Baker award winner in college, silver medalist and MVP in the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vezina winner the same year – not to mention the fact that Ryan has amassed over 34 wins or more each of the last 5 seasons with the Sabres. He is debatably the most marketable player in the NHL. He’s also a critical figure in the Sabres ‘core’ and takes part in numerous charitable contributions in Buffalo, including his annual Catwalk for Charity event. The man has been asked to wear many hats for this franchise (and the league for that matter) over the years and he has followed through respectfully throughout.

Sure, ‘unassuming’ and ‘tactful’ may not be the best words to describe his post-game interviews – but he has still earned the right to be deemed the number one on the depth chart… and allowing a few soft, unconfident goals should not change that. (for now) The fact of the matter is that he is an established, elite goaltender in this league and he will continue to be for years to come.

So for the time being, let’s just allow Lindy to ride his ‘gut feelings’ about who to play moving into the future and try to give Miller a little more leeway. It’s like the old saying goes, ‘you dance with the one who brought you.’