All Star Break Player Grades
Couple things I want to hit on before I start the grading. First Tim "Teeth" Kennedy is now on his 3rd team since being cut by Buffalo. If he has not fired his agent after the offseason disaster with Buffalo he needs too. Kennedy had a spot carved out in the Sabres lineup and had a decent rookie season. Best of luck to Teeth.
Last the hockeybuzz rumor involving Derek Roy and Paul Stastny. I'll play along even though it came from EK. I could see this deal working for both teams, the Sabres get a top line center and Colorado gets a good center at a lower cap hit. However I don't think just Derek Roy gets Stastny out of Colorado. Also the Sabres would have to make more moves, probably Boyes and Gaustad.
Ok now onto the grades:
Myers missed a lot of time this year with a broken wrist. Before he was hurt he was possibly the Sabres worse defenseman. He then recieved a one game trip to the press box and came back a whole different player. He came back as the Myers of 2011 Playoffs against Philly. He has provided some offense since coming back from his injury and has brought stability to the blue line. I am curious to see how his season finishes. His season end could be tied to the Sabres final standings.
Leopold has 8 goals this season and has provided good production from the point. He has had an up and down season in his own end though. At times he looks solid and at times like in Chicago and Detroit he looks awful. Leopold could be a deadline mover this season with the Sabres in sell mode.
Regher has come as advertised out of Calgary. He is physical and has been solid this season in his own zone. He punishes people usually on a nightly basis for entering his zone. Regher has had a few injury problems this year. He also brings leadership and a teacher to the young Buffalo D core.
Sekera is for some reason a goat in Buffalo. I think he is a very underrated player, he provides offense, good outlet passes, and is not a liability in his own end. He could possibly be a deadline mover as well if Buffalo goes for a big player. He has not put up the amount of points I would like to see, but he has done great playing large minutes in his own zone.
Ehrhoff also falls into the theme of many players this season on this team, up and down. Ehrhoff started off well and then he struggled in his zone and then he started playing well again. He has missed time with a rib injury. He looked good in his first game back, he should also help the Sabres power play with his return. I personally am very high on Ehrhoff and I had him targeted for the Sabres in March of last season. He will be a solid blue liner for years to come.
Weber has disappointed this season. He seems slow at times and always late to the play. He has trouble tieing up guys in front of the net which is confusing for his size. Weber could be a throw in for a trade at the deadline or seasons end.
Marc Andre Gragnani-F
Grags has been awful! In the playoffs last season he was very solid for the Sabres, but this year has been a tire fire. Sure he is a +11, but I don't know how, he constantly turns the puck over, and is pushed around in his own end. Gragnani could also be moved at the deadline or not tendered at seasons end with him being a RFA.
Vanek started off the season red hot. In my opinion he should have been given the C, he is the true leader of this team on and off the ice. Vanek gets little credit for what he does, he takes a beating in front of the net where no other player will go. He has tailed off as of late, but that is typical Vanek. He will end the season with 30 goals and 60 points. He has been very good in his own end, which is something he has worked hard at in his career.
Pommer is having a great come back season! He had a horrific injury in the playoffs last season and he has come back this season on fire. He leads the Sabres in points and goals. He is also on his way to his first All Star game. The captain has accepted his new role and ran with it. He is great on the PK and PP. His second half could be better than the first, he is an anually a great finisher.
Hecht has delt with concussion issues all season. He again is on the shelf with a concussion, his third in a year. He very well could have played his last game in a Sabres jersey. However when he was in the lineup he fit in well between Pommer and Vanek. He provided some scoring and good play in his own end. I hope he gets better soon
Stafford got a big contract in the offseason and he has fell flat on his face. Last season was his best career year. Stafford has struggled a ton this year. He is on pace for less than 15 goals this season. I could see Stafford being moved, however I would like to see Stafford again with Roy in the middle. Last game in NJ Roy was not in the middle and Stafford had perhaps his best game.
Roy has come back and been terrible for the Sabres. He is being run out of Buffalo and I would be shocked if he isn't moved by the deadline. He has produced little and been a liability. I'm sick of seeing him flop all over and coast to the bench.
Leino has been a disaster for the Sabres. The new big contract has been awful. Leino is on pace for 9 goals and he makes 4.5 million dollars. Maybe what could have saved Sabres management was a strong playoff by Leino. However they are not going to make the playoffs. Leino has 5 more years left on his deal. I wouldn't trade him this offseason, also I don't think anybody takes his contract. I still want to see one more season from Leino before parting ways.
Gerbe plays bigger than his size. He has great speed, hands, and grit. He is afraid of nobody and will go get his nose dirty to make a play. He has been one of the best Sabres forwards all season. The only reason I give the B- is because the production isn't their.
Luke started off strong between Vanek and Pommer. He started with 10 goals in the first two months, however he has gone ice cold. Lindy Ruff has demoted Adam to a 3rd line winger/center. I don't see the point Lindy is making with Adam. He cannot develop playing so few minutes, so I give half the blame on his cold streak to Ruff.
The NHL is on a witch hunt to take Kaleta out of league. He can barely hit anymore without getting a penalty even if the hit is clean. Also players can mug Kaleta without getting a penalty called. Kaleta has been great on the PK selling out and blocking shots. He again has struggled with injuries this season, something that has plagued Kaleta his whole career. You can never hate the effort Kaleta gives.
Goose continues to win faceoffs and be a leader. However I need him to put some pucks in the net as well. Having 3 goals just isn't cutting it for me. Gaustad is on the shelf right now with an injury suffered on a dirty his by Jamal Mayers. Goose could be moved at the deadline with him set to become a UFA July 1.
I wanted so bad for Boyes to work out. He just won't go to the place you need to to score goals. Sure he is great in the shootout, but I don't need Ales Kotalik 2.0. He likely will be moved at the deadline and if not will be a UFA July 1.
Miller has struggled this season, having his career worst statiscally. However I lay some of the blame on the poor Sabres defense and injuries. Also I blame the Lucic hit that he missed time with a concussion. I think he came back not 100% and it showed. He looks to be getting into the groove now with a healthy D corp. I'm hoping for a good second half from him. Miller wants to win like nobody else.
Enroth started off excellent, but has fallen into slide as of late. He had the chance to take the job from Miller when he was hurt, but he failed. Enroth could part of a trade at the deadline or in the offseason. If the Sabres want to make a run they need him to be a part of the effort.
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