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Buffalo Sabres Defense Runs Deep; Hopes to Be Strength

January 17th, 2013 at 12:01 PM
By Mike Matisz

The Buffalo Sabres currently list eight players on their roster in the defensive position. Not on that list currently are T.J. Brennan or Brayden McNabb, who are widely considered to be NHL talents. In short, the Buffalo Sabres should be stacked at defense. 

The following players are currently listed as Sabres defensemen:

  • Christian Ehrhoff
  • Tyler Myers
  • Mike Weber
  • Adam Pardy
  • Jordan Leopold
  • Robyn Regehr
  • Andrej Sekera
  • Alexander Sulzer

While some of these players are a lock to stay with Buffalo throughout the season, there are outs for the Sabres this year with potential trades upcoming.

For starters, we know that Myers, Ehrhoff and Regehr are safe. All three players are considered the rocks of the defense with both Myers and Ehrhoff locked up for a long time. Rehgehr brings a veteran gritty presence to the defense to lock down the opposing scoring lines.

It appears Weber and Sulzer would be fine too considering Sulzer played great beside Ehrhoff (former Vancouver teammates) and head coach Lindy Ruff has been happy with Weber's play.

The real question marks come after that. Will Leopold be moved before his contract ends at the end of the season? Will Sekera's high trade value bring in a forward to help the offense? What will Adam Pardy bring with him after being traded from Dallas? Will McNabb or Brennan break into the NHL this season?

So many questions follow the defense, yet none of them concern the rate of play. 

The Buffalo Sabres have always liked the offensive support their defense can provide. Defensively, the team is solid as well providing both size and skill. Given that the players have had at least one year of experience together with their partners, it would appear that the Sabres might have the least amount of concern with defense.

With a shortened season, Ruff has contemplated keeping a defensive powerplay specialist on the roster. Each game means more and each point is crucial this season, so the new fold may help the team grab a few more powerplay goals in an attempt to return to the playoffs. 

As a Sabres fan might see it, the team is set on defense but may be willing to lose a man or two to bring up the youth and provide players for the offense. 

With the season fast approaching, it will be interesting to see how it all shakes down. Will the Sabres keep 12 NHL quality defensemen in their system? Will the defense live up to their hype? 

The season starts Sunday at home against the Philadelphia Flyers.

 

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL

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