Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Needing a stronger back check...

Thomas Vanek is averaging 11.23 min of five on five play for every 60 minutes of even strength play that the Sabres have. It's a good thing that it isn't more. The Sabres opponents are averaging 6.16 goals for every sixty minutes that Vanek is on the ice. This is the third worst in the league among those averaging above 16.67% of 5 v 5 playing time. Linemate Derek Roy isn't far behind, allowing 5.70 goals against making him the fifth worst in this statistic.

Meanwhile Spacek doesn't look so good either. While Spacek has turned around his game on the offensive side of things, he hasn't been too much of a defensive defenceman, allowing 4.47 goals against per every sixty minutes played. Among those averaging significant playing time that makes him the 16th worst in the NHL. Sekera is actually a bit worse than Spacek, while offensively deficient Nolan Pratt is right behind them proving to also be defensively deficient.

Worst still for the Sabres is that Afinogenov and Ryan are not far behind either. While in his limited playing time Peters has yet for the opposing team to score a goal on him, the best defensive players for the team in this regard are Gaustad, Kotalik, and Paille. Hopefully this line starts to get some more playing time. On defense the best players are the injured Kalinin and the rookie Mike Weber, if there was ever a reason to play Weber ahead of Pratt this is it.

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