Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jhonas Enroth: The Future vs. Right Now

We do this every year, but this time we actually have concrete proof in the way of game footage.  Jhonas Enroth is better than Patrick Lalime right now.  This has hundreds of fans asking why Enroth doesn't see the second seat behind Miller and we don't send Lalime packing.

The debate is simple.  Do we want the team to be better right now (with Enroth behind Miller) or do we want to think about the future (continuing to let Enroth develop in the AHL).  The answer hinges on what you think Enroth's future is.  Is he a viable NHL starter at some point?  In which case, you would lean towards the latter.  Is he merely backup material?  Obviously if you're in this camp, you want him on the Sabres bench.

I don't know.  He's had games where he's played very well, and games where he hasn't.  I do know that he's got a few NHL wins behind his belt now which is better than Patrick Lalime has fared.  I personally do not feel that he has what it takes to be an NHL starter, and the team is better off saying goodbye to Lalime regardless of how nice a guy he is and how much Miller likes him.

I feel that Lalime's biggest fault isn't so much his talent (or lack thereof) but the fact that he simply has a different style of goaltending than Miller.  This causes the defense to think they have to adjust their game which throws the entire team into a funk.  I think Enroth is more similar in style to Miller, and thus the team is more comfortable playing their regular game in net.  I never understood why teams don't try harder to grab a backup netminder with similar tendencies as their starter so the team is comfortable playing their game with either guy in net.

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