Tuesday, October 7, 2008

2008-2009 Buffalo Sabres: Defense

This is the second part of a multi part preview of the team. Here is the first part.

The Buffalo Sabres defense was a major issue last year. The loss of Teppo Numminen hurt this team in ways that couldn't be imagined at the start of last season. The addition of Nolan Pratt and good play out of Andrej Sekera and Mike Weber helped out some but this team still could not play defense well enough to help their team actually win games. This was more apparent as the season went on.

This year's defense has changed radically though. The addition of Craig Rivet will help the blueline immensly and the experience that Sekara and Weber have will also help out in the long run. Finally, the return of Teppo will give the blueline the leadership it was lacking last season.

Currently there are eight defenders on the roster with a cut most likely coming today. Mike Weber and Nathan Paetsch seem to be the defenders on the bubble but Weber's two-way contract will make him more appealing to send down. Paestch would have to have been out on waivers yesterday. The pairings this season have changed as well with Tallinder and Lydman being split to maximize their potential. The pairings should look something like this:

Rivet - Lydman
Spacek - Tallinder
Numminen - Sekera

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