By Mike Harrington
So are the Sabres simply riding the hot hand or is there a statement about the future being made today in goal?
Jhonas Enroth is getting his second straight start in today's 5 p.m. game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fair enough. He's hot, coming off a 29-save shutout yesterday against Philadelphia and with marks of 3-0-1, 1.46, .955 in his last four starts.
But this is just the second time in at least seven years Ryan Miller has not started in consecutive games when healthy. The other two occasions: Enroth played in a 2-1 win vs. Calgary on Nov. 4, 2011 and a 3-2 win at Ottawa on Nov. 5, 2011; and Martin Biron split a 7-2 win at Nashville with a 3-2 loss at St. Louis on Dec. 21 and 23, 2006.
Miller dressed as the backup yesterday and there is zero indication he is injured; he took warmups fully prior to both games.
(Miller also sat on Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2007 but that was because Lindy Ruff gave him extra rest when returning from the NHL All-Star Game)
Miller, of course, was the subject of wide speculation at the trade deadline and is widely expected to be available after the season heading into the draft because he has just one year left on his contract.
It's all pretty interesting. Interim coach Ron Rolston would not divulge his starting goalie when we talked to him in the 3 o'clock hour. He confirmed Enroth was fine after getting bumped in the neck yesterday, saying, "He's fine. He's ready to ... " and then stopping himself before finishing the sentence by saying, "he's available." Hmmm.
Now we know why the hesitation. Pretty interesting.
Same lineup as yesterday, meaning Luke Adam is the healthy scratch. By the way, Mathieu Garon is in net for Tampa. Ben Bishop has started six straight since being acquired from Ottawa but the Lightning played an overtime game last night in Washington -- plus Garon is 4-1, 1.40, .943 in his last five starts against the Sabres. That includes the 2-1 win in Tampa on March 26.
Be sure to join me at 5 for today's live blog and we'll again have a FlashChat in the second intermission.