Andrey Makarov Proving Goaltending of the Future is Bright


For the Buffalo Sabres losing franchise goaltender Ryan Miller was a tough pill to swallow. He’d been the backbone of the team but it was time for him to go his own way and the separation just felt right. However, with no one knowing what Jhonas Enroth was capable of as a starter and shaky Michal Neuvirth battling with him for the number one job, questions for the Sabres crease arose.

Knowing that Andrey Makarov was in the Buffalo Sabres system, however far away from reaching the NHL he was and is, certainly helps ease the minds of many Sabres fans.

With a packed crease in Buffalo and Enroth and Neuvirth doing battle for the number one job, Makarov was left behind. If everything goes according to plan, Makarov should get some solid time with the Rochester Americans in the AHL this season.

While most goaltenders who are currently in Makarov’s spot don’t get much attention from their NHL team he certainly burst onto the scene in a preseason game on Sunday night.

With news breaking that Makarov was getting the start on Sunday against Jonathan Bernier, in front of a squad mostly comprised of Amerks players, fans were a little worried that the game would turn out worse than the one in which Neuvirth started just days before. However, it did not. In fact in was the exact opposite.

Andrey Makarov came up big time and time again stoning the Toronto Maple Leafs best players and frustrating them throughout the night. He was a beast on Sunday night and proved that the future of goaltending in Buffalo is looking pretty good, who cares what Enroth and Neuvirth do with this guy coming up?

*Gif credit to Jeffler
Makarov wasn’t able to hold onto the 2-0 lead, but with Phil Kessel firing rockets at him all night and Mike Weber on defence you can’t really blame the rookie goaltender who had stood tall all night. So while the Sabres ended up losing in a shootout, Makarov was the story of the night.

He was so good on the night that Ted Nolan couldn’t pull him to give Nathan Lieuwen some time between the pipes like previously promised.

One of the great things about Makarov is his size and position. It’s going to sound kind of dumb, but he looks like Ryan Miller did between the pipes. He’s solid, square to the puck, athletic and extremely quick on his feet. He easily established himself as one of the WHL’s top netminders during his time with the Saskatoon Blades. During the exhibition game on Sunday night he looked like an NHL goaltender.

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  • Wherever he has played Andrey Makarov has proved he’s up to the task. He’s played for Russia at the U20 World Juniors twice earning both a silver and bronze. In the 2012-2013 season he was the CHL’s Memorial Cup most outstanding goaltender and posted a 2.20 goals against average and a .927 save percentage in his first 10 regular season games with the Amerks last season.

    He spent the majority of last season in the ECHL but didn’t fare overly well posting a .906 save percentage and 2.79 goals against average over 31 games. He’s shown flashes of brilliance between the pipes but has yet to find his consistent level of play, something the Sabres are hoping he’ll find with a full season in the AHL.

    Makarov always seems to play his best when he’s seemingly over his head, like Sunday night. He steps up to the plate and relishes in the moment to make the big save and prove the doubters wrong.

    The Buffalo Sabres are unsure of what they have in the crease right now. Either Enroth or Neuvirth will have to step up and claim the number one job. Give Andrey Makarov another season or two in the AHL and if keeps progressing well, he could easily step into the Sabres crease as their future netminder.