So what's up with Lindy Ruff going back to Jhonas Enroth over Ryan Miller tonight? Could you have ever imagined Miller NOT getting a start in a game after two days in a row off in recent years? No way.
But the proof is in the numbers and Ruff has to be playing his hunches here.
Enroth, remember, just beat the Senators last week in a shootout. And there's this: Miller is 13-15-2 vs. Ottawa in his career and 20-5-7 vs. Boston, where the Sabres play Saturday night. Ruff said today he's going back to his schedule, and that means neither guy is going to play both games in this back-to-back. So that makes it easier to see why Miller is going tomorrow, with Enroth playing tonight against Ottawa (the Sens are starting Craig Anderson).
And I think that's going to hold even if Enroth pitches a shutout tonight. It will then be interesting to see what Ruff does Monday in Montreal, where Enroth really started his career with a brilliant shootout win last February but Miller was sensational with a 40-save victory on Oct. 15.
Miller is 20-8-5 with a 2.29 GAA against the Habs in his career but he's just 8-9-4 against New Jersey, which comes to town Wednesday. Enroth has won his only start against both teams. Maybe it's Miller in Montreal and Enroth against the Devils but Miller certainly needs to have a good night in Boston; his goals-against average in the last five games is 4.10!
"We've put together a schedule," Ruff said after today's optional morning skate. "We have a busy one ahead of us and we're going to try to stick to it."
The Sabres went 5-1 against the Senators last year and won the first meeting this year after a brutal stretch dating to the lockout that included the loss in the 2007 Eastern Conference finals. What's changed?
"Those are always hard questions to answer," Ruff said. "It's the same question we tried to answer when we couldn't beat them. Somemtimes there's a little luck involved and you get rolling pretty good against a team. They rolled pretty good against us and then we've had our fair shake now."