Ryan Miller, Lindy Ruff

Lindy Ruff’s goalie juggling is based on history?

Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth have been having the awkward dance of having Lindy Ruff decide who gets the start on a game-to-game basis. Any other season it would be virtually automatic that Miller would get the start, but this season has seen Miller have a rough start and Enroth has thrived when given the chance.

With a funky stretch of games coming up, Ruff’s rotation appears to based on statistics in how his goalies have matched up in the past against their opponents. Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News breaks down how the Sabres’ rotation plays out this weekend with Enroth getting the start against Ottawa tonight while Miller goes in Boston tomorrow.

While Enroth doesn’t have the extensive history Miller does against these teams, Miller has been bad in his career against Ottawa while Enroth in just a few starts has been lights out. Perhaps Miller is just stuck with flashbacks to the 2007 Eastern Conference finals that saw the Sens roll the Sabres in five games.

For now, Miller will just need to dominate in the starts he does make so he can go back to being the absolute #1 guy. While it’s a great luxury for Buffalo to have Enroth playing so well, Miller going through the motions won’t help the Sabres be a Cup contender.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.