I get it; This is a sensitive time of year for hockey fans. Driven by the desire for post-season puck, the majority fans cannot help but overstate glory and disaster in every frozen moment. It’s hairy. It’s edgy. It’s insane.
Which is exactly how I feel when I hear the following remark made by many, “The Sabres were beaten by two back-up goaltenders.”
On the surface, it’s true in that their were winning goalies and losing goalies in Friday and Saturday’s Sabres games, and that Ryan Miller fell into the latter category twice while Brent Johnson and Ben Scrivens each earned “W’s”.
So you can go there, but I’m hating your trip with a passion. Certainly injuries take their toll, but if you are going to assign the responsibility for those losses, please place it on Miller before you tell me Johnson O’Scrivener toppled Buffalo.
The Sabres scored thrice each night, which is almost exactly how often the two keepers have been beaten by the rest of the league. Not only that, the iced canes being played in the NHL right now is so frustratingly muddy to watch that it will almost certainly be the lowest goals-per-game in any season since the lockout (5.46). Doing the math, the first to three goals usually wins. Twice, Miller and the Sabres disproved the trend at play in the entire season. Great job!
Yes, this is the 19th lowest-scoring season since the mid-thirties and the sixth-lowest since 1956.
So, I think it’s fair to say that even with the muckety-muck we witnessed Friday and Saturday, Buffalo’s offense shouldn’t shoulder the blame. When I defend paying a goalie a bunch of money, it’s because I believe you pay him to be your star on nights like tonight (and Friday… Saturday… and last Tuesday vs. Washington).