We can go back and forth on whether the Sabres did enough to protect Ryan Miller -- and I hope you folks keep doing that in the comments section -- but it would be good to hear some thoughts on Patrick Lalime at this point as well. I'm guessing Miller is out at least 8-12 games, if not more, and Lalime is going to have to win some in that time if the Sabres are to stay afloat in the playoff race.
Lalime won 16 games last year in Chicago but has just two Ws for the Sabres and one was Oct. 13 on Long Island, just the second game of the season. He seems slow in the crease at times and his puckhandling can be an adventure. But he's also looked steadier in his most recent appearances and has deserved a better fate, particularly when he made 34 saves in the Feb. 2 loss at Anaheim.
One thing you can be sure of: Lalime has unwavering support in the locker room. The players love him and he's a great teammate. No offense to Jocelyn Thibault, a nice guy in his own right, but he never seemed to fit in last year. One unheralded aspect of Miller's fine season is his relationship with Lalime, who has certainly been another set of eyes and ears for Buffalo's No.1 netminder.
So how much faith do you have in Lalime? And do you feel any better at the thought he'll have a chance to build a rhythm with every-game starts or is that just a think-positive approach the Sabres are pushing because they don't really know what they're going to get?
(Apologies to Pat LaFontaine fans for the title of the post, by the way. Couldn't resist).
(AP Photo: Lalime takes a breather during Monday's practice)