On Saturday, Jhonas Enroth will make his first of what could be 20-30 starts over the course of the 2011-12 campaign. That’s more playing time than Ryan Miller’s understudies have traditionally gotten, but as coach Lindy Ruff told the Buffalo News, he has confidence in Enroth:
We plan on using Jhonas a fair amount. So in back to back situations we’re definitely going to use him. The overall plan for him is every three or four games to get him in. He had a great preseason for us, had a great finish to the year for us so I don’t have any hesitation putting Jhonas in.
Enroth held his own in the NHL last season, with a 9-2-2 record, 2.73 GAA, and .907 save percentage in 14 games. However, that was on top of 41 AHL games, as the Sabres primarily used him when Miller was injured. This time around, netminder Patrick Lalime isn’t with Buffalo and Enroth is expected to spend the whole season with the Sabres. He shouldn’t challenge Miller for the number one gig in 2011-12, but he’s a candidate to be Miller’s eventual successor.
The Sabres made a number of additions in the off-season which made the team less dependent on Miller. However, that shouldn’t detract from the fact that the Sabres have also developed a reliable understudy in Enroth, who can play enough to keep Miller fresh and fill in admirably if Miller suffers an injury.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.