Wednesday night posed an interesting scenario for Tim Murray and the Buffalo Sabres. After defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs in a close 2-1 shootout victory at First Niagara Center, it seemed that Chad Johnson was really coming along in his 6th NHL start. Johnson stood on his head in overtime to steal the victory for Buffalo. He finished with 20 saves on 21 shots.
Tim Murray told the media two weeks ago that Buffalo wasn't looking to trade or sign a goalie without first giving Johnson and young prospects like Nathan Lieuwen and Linus Ullmark a chance at helping the Sabres win games.
Johnson has been inconsistent in 6 starts so when the Calgary Flames placed their day one starting goaltender Karri Ramo on waivers, the Sabres were given an interesting decision. With Buffalo getting the first crack at waivers, it seemed like Murray might pickup the 29 year old goalie.
In 7 games Ramo went 2-3 and was pulled in two games. He had a 2.86 goals against average and showed some flashes of a starting goalie, but also imploded one too many times for the Calgary Flames. Ramo was heading into the season coming off an impressive playoff performance with the Flames.
The Flames have both Jonas Hiller and Joni Ortio on their roster which gave them the flexibility to move Ramo.
With the Sabres investing in Robin Lehner and a deep pool of young prospects at the goaltender position, it makes sense why Buffalo would want to ride with Chad Johnson and Nathan Lieuwen. Ramo has struggled and when Lehner returned, there would be no room for Ramo.
Buffalo passed and so did the rest of the NHL. Karri Ramo will now be sent down to Calagary's AHL team. Lets hope this doesn't come back to bite the Sabres, if Chad Johnson can't continue to perform at a steady level for Buffalo, they will now have to rely on inexperienced goalies like Lieuwen and Ullmark.
Ramo isn't some super star goalie that would have fixed the Sabres problems but at least he showed the ability to take over a game in the NHL last season. Hopefully Tim Murray knows what he is doing. Chad Johnson has earned the right to continue starting for the Sabres but who knows how long that will last.
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The Sabres decided to pass on Karri Ramo and stick with Chad Johnson and company