MONTREAL -- We'll get our chance to talk to Lindy Ruff today in the noon hour after the Sabres' morning skate in the Bell Centre, but the coach already made news this morning in his weekly radio appearance on WGR when he announced that Jhonas Enroth will start in goal tonight for the Sabres against the Montreal Canadiens. Ryan Miller's 31-start streak that we examined in this morning's paper is over.
Enroth was decent when he played five games back in November, garnering a pair of shootout wins to become the first goalie since the lockout to get his first two career wins that way. He's clearly going to be the backup goaltender next year.
So what does this mean in the short team for Patrick Lalime? It's certainly obvious whatever confidence Ruff had left in him was shot by the horrible giveaway to Tampa Bay's Adam Hall that turned into the game-winning goal in Lalime's last start Nov. 20 in HSBC Arena. Remember this gaffe?
Lalime doesn't have a win since last March and has only nine in his three years as Miller's backup. The Sabres re-signed him clearly at the urging of Miller but Lalime simply is no longer an NHL-caliber goaltender in the coach's eyes.
Maybe Lalime gets a start Friday against St. Louis to make a little competition of sorts with Enroth. But it seems like, as Sully wrote this morning, that it's simply time to bring the kid up for good. Send Lalime on his way, send him to Portland, whatever. What's the point of having him here? To wear a gold toque on the bench?