With half of our defensive core exploding on Monday, some replacements seem to be pretty obvious. Here is the latest on Spacek and Kalinin, but what we know for now is that neither are playing tonight. So what’s left of our D? Sounds like list time to me…
Teppo Numminen– Yeah, right.
– Nathan Paetsch- “Banged up.” Awesome.
– Toni Lydman- played 29:27 on Monday, looks like an extra from “Spinal Tap.”
– Andrej Sekera- Played 25:42 on Monday, still nicknamed “Balls.”
– Nolan Pratt- unemployed Hannah Montana fan until November.
– Hank “the Tank” Tallinder- most likely coming back from injury tonight. (PRAISE JESUS!)
Okay, I count five serviceable there. Who’s the 6th option? Drew Schiestel? Michael Funk? Me? Nope, Mike Weber.
To be honest I’m pretty high on Mike Weber. He and Sekera were the Amerks’ top D pair this year and judging from what we’ve seen out of Sekera lately the pair has gotten much better. As much as we rag on him, Andrej has played some outstanding hockey for a rookie thrown into the mix and I feel much better about him in the starting six come October.
Both Chris and I have seen Weber play in Rochester since he was sent back down earlier in the year. Here’s what I thought of him:
The Amerks D was downright awful collectively, but Weber certainly stood out to me. He was aggressive and tough, and was rarely out of position. That tentative look he has in Buffalo was nowhere to be seen. In the second period, he took a hit at the blue line, then looked to get kicked in the head while down. Weber flips out, throws his gloves off before he even gets up, and starts to go after whoever kicked him. A Bulldog (Ryan O’Byrne) jumps in from behind, and Weber beats the tar out of him, slamming him to the ice while continuing to wrestle as the linesman pull him off. If this is how the kid will play when comfortable, then I feel much better about our future blueline.
“A Visit to “The Hammer”“, 11/12/07
Andrej Sekera and Mike Weber showed why they are Rochester’s top defensive pairing. Sekera looks great, but not quite ready to handle the NHL full-time. Weber is big and mean. I personally liked what I saw from him in his brief stint with the Sabres and he can only get better. Both players should make strong cases as to why they should be in the NHL out of training camp next fall.
A Trip to the Farm, 12/29/07
Sounds about the same, doesn’t it? He’s not going to be a guy making that crisp clean breakaway pass but he can be serviceable in a pinch. This is a pretty good example of a pinch, so I think he should be able to do the job. As the top prospect in the system, he is expected to step up to the task. We shall see.
Time to break out the mustard, this time with a side of desperation.