The Buffalo Sabres had a rather unconventional system of goaltending this season. With the early-season emergence of youngster Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, the team rotated three netminders for most of the season. That number became four when Devon Levi joined the team late in the year after wrapping up his collegiate career.
Buffalo’s depth chart in the crease will be thinner next season, however. 41-year-old Craig Anderson has ridden off into the sunset after a fantastic final season, leading the team with a .908 save percentage, albeit in just 24 starts. Veteran Eric Comrie, signed through next season, struggled mightily with a .886 save percentage in 19 starts. That leaves Buffalo with Levi and Luukkonen, who head coach Don Granato said today he’s comfortable with as next season’s tandem.
It’s a tall ask of two goalies under the age of 25 to help propel a franchise toward its first playoff appearance in over a decade, especially given Luukkonen’s shaky injury history throughout his development. He did show major promise in the NHL this season, however, and it doesn’t seem Buffalo is at the point yet where they’re prepared to give up on possible major future pieces in exchange for a quick fix.
More from around the league this morning:
- While Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron skated on his own before practice this morning, he didn’t join the team’s full session, per The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa, and is expected to remain out of the lineup for Game 2 against the Florida Panthers tonight. Florida made more noise against the Bruins than most expected in the opening match, but Boston still secured a 3-1 win without their captain’s services. Bergeron is still dealing with a minor injury and illness that have sidelined him for approximately the past week.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning lost the services of two defensemen to injury last night, but also had to contend without forward Michael Eyssimont for most of the game after a hit from Toronto Maple Leafs defender Jake McCabe. Eyssimont had recorded two assists in 15 games with the Lightning since arriving from the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline.