There is no better may to combat a tough game than to comeback in the next and make everyone forget that last one ever happened. Tonight the Sabres will try and do just that with the visiting Calgary Flames in town. The team will look to rookie goaltender Jhonas Enroth to steady the ship tonight. Coming off a game where he held the Philadelphia Flyers scoreless for roughly 53 minuets.
Its no surprise that Lindy Ruff is giving Enroth the nod for tonight. Even though he might just be sticking to the schedule like he says, when a goaltender puts up a shutout the majority of the time the coach will ride that goalie. In my eyes this is the right decision to make for several reason. The first being is that in protects Ryan Miller for the time being. It is well advertised that Miller plays an emotional game, just look at his reactions when there is a missed call or something he disagrees with. Even though Miller would like to make you think otherwise I for one believe that the boos get to him, and not in a good way. Having Miller most likely go on Saturday night in Ottawa at this point is the better scenario to put Miller into to get his confidence built back up and return him to that passionate goalie we all at some point have loved. With that all being said the other reason i support this as i stated above Enroth is the hot hand, during his relief stint he was a perfect 15 for 15 against the Flyers bringing him to a .955 save percentage in his three appearances on the young season.
Missing from the Sabres lineup tonight will be Buffalo native Patrick Kaleta. Kaleta was suspended 4 games by Brendan Shanahan and the NHL for a headbutt he landed on Flyers foward Jakub Voracek. While at the game I initially did no see the headbutt, upon watching the reply of the incident I have to say the NHL made the right call on this one. Don’t get me wrong I love a Kaleta hit has much as the next Sabres fan, but there is a difference between a nice clean hit and ramming your helmet into the jaw of an opponent. If this was a first time offender the NHL most likely would of let the player off with a warning, but since Kaleta is a repeat offender of the offense the 4 game suspension is a fair ruling in my eyes.
Taking the spot of Kaleta in tonight’s lineup will be Sabres prospect Corey Tropp, who will be making his NHL debut. This call makes sense since Tropp plays a physical game much like Kaleta. During his 2011-2012 campaign so far Tropp has notched 4 goals and 3 assist while compiling 16 penalty minuets in 10 games played, while playing for the Rochester Americans, the Sabres farm team.If I had to guess where Tropp will be inserted into the lineup, it would be on the 4th line with veterans Matt Ellis and Cody Mccormick. This would move Brad Boyes onto a line with Paul Gaustad and Nathan Gerbe and leave the top two lines alone.
Despite what people might think the Sabres besides the first seven minuets of the game played a solid game. The Lenio-Roy-Stafford showed some sign of chemistry and where creating chances and pressure throughout the rest of the game. Even though they didn’t find the score sheet I think if you keep this line together for some more time then 1 game you could see some great things from them down the line. The top line up Vanek-Adam-Pominville continued there hot start of the season and will be looked at to continue it while the rest of the team has yet to hit there stride.
Players to Watch
Robyn Regehr: Regehr will get the chance to play his former team tonight for the first time. Like most players he is probably excited to get out there and play against the team he spent his whole 11 year NHL career with before being traded over to the Sabres this past summer. While Regehr has yet to find the score sheet as a Sabres he has brought something much more important to this team, and that is grit and determination. Ask any player who has tried to squick past Regehr while entering the offensive zone, and they will tell you how hard he hits.
Olli Jokinen/Jarome Iginla: Both Jokinen and Iginla are entering tonight game on high points. In there last 4 games both Iginla(2G, 2A) and Jokinen(2G, 2A) have 4 points during this stretch. Look for these line mates to try and continue there game from last night against Detroit today against the Sabres. Combined the two forwards tallied 3 goals and 2 assists in the Flames 4-1 win.
Between the Pipes:
Tonight’s match up will feature two goalie seeing there 4th appearance of the season. The Sabres will send out rookie Jhonas Enroth(2-0-0), while the Flames will feature Henrik Karlsson(0-1-1). The advantage tonight has to go to Enroth who is posting a .955 save percentage in his 3 appearances thus far, while Karlsson has struggled posting a measly .881 save percentage to date. If Enroth can continue his solid play the Sabres should skate away with the W aginst a less talented Flames Squad.