NHL Goalies: Another One Bites The Dust
Various news outlets reported today that Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller will not be in the lineup when his team takes on the Boston Bruins tonight.
Miller was ruled out due to the oh-so-common "lower body injury." According to Coach Lindy Ruff, the USA-Olympian does not have a groin injury and is listed as day-to-day.
In his place will most likely be Patrick Lalime, who gave up four goals in both of his two starts this season. Jhones Enroth was called up from the team's AHL affiliate and will suit up for tonight's game as well.
While it doesn't appear that Miller's injury is too serious (just yet), the Sabres aren't taking any chances.
Furthermore, Miller is the latest addition to a growing list of ailing netminders around the NHL.
Colorado's Craig Anderson tweaked his knee last Tuesday in pre-game warmups and is out indefinitely.
Semyon Varlamov was forced to relinquish his number one spot in Washington due to lingering groin issues.
Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild managed to tear both his ACL and MCL at the same time, likely sidelining him for the entirety of the 2010-2011 season.
Philadelphia's Michael Leighton re-aggravated a bulging disk in his back during training camp that forced him to have surgery and miss at least the first month of the season.
Each of these injuries has impacted teams in a different way.
A struggling Avalanche team has been forced to rely on a rusty Peter Budaj out West, while rookie goaltenders Michal Neuvirth and Sergei Bobrovsky have shined for the Capitals and Flyers, respectively.
The bottom line is this: every team loses valuable players to injury (See: Zach Parise). It's how they deal with this adversity that often defines their season.
Whenever a big name player goes down--especially a goalie--it's up to the rest of the players around them to step up and compete at an even higher level.
Are Patrick Lalime and the Sabres up to that task? Or are they in for a long offseason?
We'll just have to wait and see.
As my good friend Tallahassee from Zombieland likes to say: it's time to nut up or shut up.
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