On Twitter today there was a little back and forth between WECK’s Nicholas Mendola and WGR’s Jeremy White about easing off the inevitable discussion on Jhonas Enroth versus Ryan Miller debate. Others (myself included) chimed in and I don’t want to put words in either of their mouths, but I will say that I can understand both sides. The mere discussion about Enroth’s value to the Sabres and what his current/future role with the team should hardly be considered taboo for discussion. However, for me the problem I have is the timing of this discussion. As a fan I would rather be rallying around our ‘star’ (quotations because some people would debate that) goalie coming back off injury after the young backup stood in net and played outstanding to help drive the Sabres’ playoff push. I can only think about how similar this feels to the Rob Johnson/Doug Flutie debate where some people still think Johnson costs the Bills that game by his mere presence. That whole topic is way too long and frivolous to debate here.
Lindy Ruff told the media today that Ryan Miller is the team’s number one netminder and I like that. We all know how this chatter gets and sports has the clichés that the favorite guy on a football team is the backup QB or whatever. For me I like an analogy that may not come off the right way. Have you ever known someone who was dating a someone who was pretty awesome on almost all accounts but your friend questioned whether they were the one? Then through some other way ended up meeting someone new who’s hot and fun and doesn’t SEEM to have the same issues that your current relationship has? So they bail on that relationship for this new and exciting fling only to find out it is not that much better or albeit worse? That comparison probably doesn’t really do justice for the Miller/Enroth debate. For me though, this is a case where people are hoping that Enroth is everything that Miller is not which he may very well be. He may be the world class goalie that can carry the Sabres deep in the playoffs all by himself a la Dominik Hasek or he may very well be a very good goalie that can’t do any more than is currently being given by the position.
I again go to the timing of this discussion and that if this were early February or even March I would be more open to an open and frank discussion about what was better for the Sabres, but for right now I think this can be a good discussion for the Sabres in the offseason. There are so many issues going into this offseason that having Enroth is going to be a great card for the Sabres building for the future for trade bait or depth at the position or just deciding Miller isn’t the elite goaltender to take them to the Cup. This is going to be a fun postseason if the Sabres make it because it was completely unexpected and like finding $20 on the street and then this offseason the front office needs to make some pretty interesting hockey decisions on where this team is going. For now though I want to see what Miller and the rest of this team that have played great since January 1 can do and if something happens it is nice to know that there’s an ace in the hole like Enroth.