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Ryan Miller/Martin Brodeur update: Expect to see New Jersey and Buffalo’s backups tomorrow night

Nov 9, 2010, 11:41 PM EST

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Sometimes, sports fans are treated to epic confrontations. Whether it’s Bird vs. Magic, Ali vs. Frazier or any other irresistible force squaring off against the latest immovable object, we occasionally get to witness parity-defying showdowns of athletes at the top of their respective games.

Wednesday’s match between the woefully inept New Jersey Devils and the wounded Buffalo Sabres is about as far as you can get from that, so perhaps it makes sense that the two teams’ workhorse goalies probably won’t play.

In one corner, you have the Sabres, who are tied for the second worst record (10 points) in the NHL. Word from the Buffalo News is that Ryan Miller should be in a snappy Sabres uniform, but only as a backup to Jhonas Enroth because Patrick Lalime is injured too.

Meanwhile, in the swampy Jersey corner, Johan Hedberg is the odds-on starter for the Devils, although that might be determined during Wednesday’s morning skate. Martin Brodeur might end up serving as a backup, too, if you believe coach John MacLean’s slip-up via Fire & Ice.

MacLean later slipped up, though, when asked if the team would call up a backup in case Brodeur isn’t ready.

“We’re just day to day with Marty, so we’ll see,” MacLean said. “We’re hoping Marty can skate tomorrow. It’s getting better every day. If he can take warm-up in the morning, I’m sure he’ll be able to back up.”

MacLean then paused for several seconds before adding, “If that’s the way we go.”

Oh, MacLean, you savvy cat.

Anyway, the winner of this game can rest easy in knowing that they’re probably not the worst team in the NHL (only somewhere between the second and fourth). It probably won’t be a barn burner … but if things go well, we might at least have a warmer barn on our hands.

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