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Lindy mum as usual but starter has to be Miller

Maybe come 6:30 tonight when the warmups start, I'll be proven wrong. But I think we've seen the last of Jhonas Enroth for this season.

Ryan Miller has been one of the best players in the entire NHL since the all-star break (16-3-5, 1.90 GAA, .936 save percentage). It seems inconceivable the he doesn't play tonight against the Minnesota Wild in First Niagara Center. There's two days off before Tuesday's showdown in Washington and two more days before the Penguins come to town next Friday.

Lindy Ruff rarely says who is starting in goal the day of a game. He's joked with me a couple times over the years that he'd have to kill me if he told me. He wasn't budging today when I futilely asked again.

"They know who's playing," a smirking Ruff said after his team held a meeting. "I'm not going to tell you. I want the opposition to guess. I made a decision earlier in the week what the schedule is going to be and we're sticking to it."

Realistically though, it has to be Miller. Enroth hasn't played badly, but he also hasn't won a single game since Nov. 26. You don't risk what are potentially the easiest two points left on your schedule by playing him at this point. (The Wild is 13th in the West and just 11-25-7 since mid-December).

The Sabres can take over eighth place with a point tonight but they of course want two. They can pull even with Ottawa for seventh if the struggling Senators lose in regulation to red-hot Pittsburgh and Buffalo wins here. They can even pull without three points of Boston with a win and a Bruins loss at Los Angeles.

With all that at stake, you ride Miller.

"There's a ways to go to get Boston in play yet," Ruff said. "But the fact we've put Ottawa in our sights is important. It looked like a week ago there was going to be one spot up for grabs and now there's probably four teams battling for two."

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | [email protected]

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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