The Buffalo Sabres have been forced to play some of the most important games of their 2010-11 season with Jhonas Enroth instead of Ryan Miller. It looks like they will need to do so for at least one more game (tonight’s contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning), according to NHL.com.
Enroth produced impressive enough work in his three appearances last week to manage a 2-0-1 record, which also earned him the third star of the week award from the league. That nice run of games included what could be Buffalo’s biggest win of the season, as the ninth-place Sabres dispatched the 10th-ranked Carolina Hurricanes in overtime with Enroth in net.
The Sabres aren’t out of the woods yet, so it’s too early for Enroth & Co. to breathe a sigh of relief. As well as Enroth played in a small sample of games this season, the team ultimately will go as far as Miller can take them, so it’s good news that he’s at least back to light workouts (according to NHL.com).
Miller spoke about his productive 30-minute workout, which didn’t include an actual practice with the team.
Miller, however, did skate on his own in full equipment for about 30 minutes and remained hopeful about his chances to play later this week.
Miller’s workout Monday consisted of drills to work on his positioning and lateral movements. Sidelined since last Tuesday with an upper-body injury the Sabres have provided no additional detail on whether the reigning Vezina Trophy winner planned on testing himself further during Tuesday’s morning skate.
“It’s just good to get back, feel the ice a little bit and graduate from there and see what they say after pratice tomorrow,” Miller said. “We’re at that time of year where we don’t want to deal in specifics [on injuries], but it’s something that didn’t allow me to give the team the best chance to win and it’s something I had to make sure I was good health-wise. And now we’re in a position where we are day-to-day and today was a good step forward. I really believe that it shouldn’t be something that’s going to linger too long and it’s something I can get back and play shortly.”
We’ll let you know how the all-world goalie progresses going forward, especially if he can return before the end of the regular season.
PHT Morning Skate: A beer named after Shayne Gostisbehere
–Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere took the league by storm last year and obviously, people noticed. Starting on Friday, he’ll have a beer named after him. The Conshohocken Brewery is coming out with the “Ghost Bear Golden Ale”. (Bardown)
–No one expected rookie Brandon Carlo to make the Bruins out of camp, but he’s been terrific in his first NHL season. Thanks to his reach and wingspan, he’s been able to be effective in his own zone. “The one thing is that he’s so long and his stick is so long, it gives him time to recover because as a young kid in the league you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. He has the ability to come back and recover,” said teammate Torey Krug. (CSN New England)
–The Pittsburgh Penguins have an interesting dilemma with the upcoming expansion draft. First, they need to figure out if they’ll keep eight skaters and one goalie or seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie. Once that’s settled, the team will need to figure what to do with Marc-Andre Fleury and a youngster like Derrick Pouliot. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun takes a closer look at their situation. (ESPN)
–Through 24 games, Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has yet to pick up a single penalty minute. Some people might see that as a positive thing, but others might feel he’s too soft. So, which one is it? We know what MacKinnon thinks: “I’m being aggressive. I’m playing regularly, just not taking any minors. I think it’s a good thing. Usually I’m good for some roughing penalties and I’ve asked a couple guys to fight this year. I’m not trying to have zero penalty minutes,” said MacKinnon. (Denver Post)
–Injuries have hit the Tampa Bay Lightning pretty hard this year, but they have a bargaining chip named Ben Bishop. Is it time for them to trade him? Here are five reasons why they should. (The Hockey News)
–The San Jose Sharks are having some fun on social media. Their latest hilarious video involves players guessing which teammate of theirs is depicted in a young fan’s drawing. It’s pretty funny:
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.