Eric Comrie has played seven games this season for Buffalo. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

After recall, Sabres goalie Eric Comrie confident, happy in backup role

BUFFALO – During his four-game stint in the minors, Sabres goalie Eric Comrie decided to let go of everything.

Good game? Great, now get ready for the next one. Bad outing? Put it away and move on.

Before the Sabres waived him Dec. 31 and assigned him to the Rochester Americans, he said he would “try to force it” during his sporadic action serving as the backup or No. 3 goalie.

In the AHL, Comrie’s new philosophy worked as he compiled a 3-1-0 record with a 2.26 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.

“That kind of just let me go and be myself out there and play the game instead of being stressed and worried about the results and being all uptight,” he told the Times Herald following Monday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “It was kind of more just let go and let everything kind of happen. I think magic kind of happens when you let go of the results, let go of everything and just kind of let it happen and let everything just kind of unfold.”

Things have recently unfolded well for Comrie. The Sabres recalled him Jan. 28 when they assigned rookie goalie Devon Levi to the Amerks. At first, it was unclear if Levi would just play during the bye week and return to Buffalo when the break ended.

But with Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, 24, established as the Sabres’ No. 1 netminder, they want Levi, 22, to play regularly in Rochester. That means for now, Comrie, 28, is Luukkonen’s backup.

“Eric has persevered through lots of challenges in his career and he’s gotten better as a result – better handling it and better staying focused,” Sabres coach Don Granato said Friday.

It’s unclear when Comrie might play again. Luukkonen has been handling a heavy workload. On Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings, he started his fourth straight game and for the 10th time in 11 contests, making 33 saves in a 7-0 win.

The Sabres don’t have another back-to-back set until March 2 and 3, so he could conceivably keep playing every game until then.

“I’m happy to be back,” Comrie said. “I understand the role here. Upie’s playing great, he’s playing fantastic. He deserves to play a lot of games.”

Comrie played his last NHL game Dec. 5. While he enjoyed an impressive training camp and some solid regular-season starts, he has registered a 1-5-0 record with a 4.01 goals-against average and an .863 save percentage with the Sabres this season.

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