Faced with a compressed schedule, Lindy Ruff planned on giving Ryan Miller a night off 10 to 12 times this season. The way Jhonas Enroth has played in his two starts may force Ruff to alter his plan. Although Miller’s play has tailed off after a strong start.
Enroth, who has faced long stretches on the bench when Miller has been healthy, didn’t have to wait very long this season to get his first start. It came in the first week and the third game of the season. But he was beaten five times on 37 shots in a loss at Carolina on January 24th. Perhaps that is why Ruff opted to go with Miller all last week despite the fact the Sabres played four games in six days.
Enroth did replace Miller for the third period of a blowout loss at Montreal last Saturday, giving up two goals on 11 shots, and just three days after that, he got his second start of the season.
Enroth gave up four goals on just 24 shots and was tagged with the loss in Ottawa, stretching his personal winless streak to 13 games. Enroth is 0-10-3 since a victory over Washington on November 26, 2011. His goals against average in that stretch is 3.47 and his save percentage is just .897.
Enroth’s decline is puzzling since he was the player who saved the Sabres season two years ago. With Miller sidelined by injury, Enroth went 5-0-1 from March 6th to April 5th and a furious second half of the season rally got the Sabres into the playoffs. Enroth ended 2010-2011 with an impressive 9-2-2 record.
Last season, the native of Sweden won his first six decisions and Lindy Ruff surprised many when he said his goaltending situation was more one-A and one-B rather than number one and number two. Enroth was even given back to back starts in early November after Miller was pulled in a home ice loss to Philadelphia. Enroth won games against Calgary and Ottawa.