has started 12 of Buffalo’s last 14 games since returning from injury, and it doesn’t look like his workload is going to get any lighter for the foreseeable future.
The Sabres are coming off a rare two-day break between games, and play just three times in the next seven days. But then they hit a stretch of six games in nine days, including two sets of back-to-back games.
Head coach Lindy Ruff was emphatic today when asked about his goaltending plans for the next few weeks.
“I haven’t got a set rotation right now. I think my main focus was to have both goaltenders contribute,” Ruff explained. “I really want to get Ryan going. If he’s feeling comfortable playing well, and not tired, I’m gonna try to lean on him a little more and see if that helps him. It was good to see that both guys could help us put points on the board. But really my main focus would be to try to get Ryan on a run, and let him run with it.”
Miller has posted relatively pedestrian numbers so far this season, going 10-10-2 with a 3.05 goals against average and .900 save percentage. They are a far cry from his Vezina Trophy winning season of 2009-10 when he finished 41-18-8, with a 2.22 GAA and .929 save %.
Ruff said he isn’t bothered by Miller’s numbers, and thinks a good finishing stretch isn’t out of the question.
“I think you worry about numbers in short periods of time. Don’t worry about the global number,” Ruff said. “Worry about your next game; make sure that those numbers are good. Put a good three game stretch together. Then if there’s a bad one in there, worry about your next three games. I think short term goals, smaller goals. What’s behind him is behind him. He’s gotta put together the best 40 games he’s ever put together.”
The road to recovery for Tyler Ennis
has hit a bump, and it looks like the speedy forward will be on the sideline for a little longer than expected.
Ennis was the only Sabres player missing from today’s practice at First Niagara Center, as the team prepared for Friday’s game in Carolina. Ruff said afterwards that Ennis had a setback during yesterday’s workout.
“Tyler got a little stinger yesterday late in practice which we didn’t think was much. But he came in today and he was sore again so we decided just to hold him off.”
Ruff said this new development has changed his timetable for return.
“He’s probably more than day-to-day now. He didn’t skate today, and he’s not going to skate tomorrow. We’ll give him probably two days and get him back on the ice again.”Tyler Myers
had another good day of practice, and declared himself ready to play in Carolina tomorrow. Ville Leino
continues to improve, but Ruff thinks his estimate of a Saturday return against Winnipeg might be a bit optimistic.