Tyler Myers is incredibly important to the prospects of the Buffalo Sabres. His ability to skate, score, and neutralize opponents makes him a complete player beyond his imposing physical size. It is that combination of skill that makes his start to the year so jarring. A guy that big is hard to miss when the puck and he aren’t on speaking terms.
It isn’t that he hasn’t produced offensive statistics. (Double negative? Ah fuck it.) Its that when he gets near the puck he seems to vomit. There was a stretch in the Columbus game in October where he and the puck seemed to have opposite polarity, which really sucks when you man the point. He has made bad, almost rushed decisions when he did have possession, and has been beaten in his own end by opponents routinely so far.
This. THIS KIDS. No good. What gives hope through this stretch is that he has gone through this before – last year to start actually – and that through ten games this year he is a +1. This might have something to do with playing along with Vanek, Adam and Pominville. It might have to do with playing with Regehr. I might be making this junk up. I trust my eyes in this regard though, and my eyes tell me YIKES.
Now Myers seemed to figure himself out over time. However, this is the second year in a row that he has hit a bump like this. The guy good news is that he’s 21, and issues like this are to be expected for someone that young playing such an important role at the highest level of competition. Honestly, he should be struggling a bit. Its supposed to be hard.
We are just seeing the defensive consequences for the team when he struggles. If the Sabres could score five goals a game this wouldn’t be an issue. But a lot of their offense is generated in the transition game, and Myers is a big part of that. He spans the gap between their defense and offense, and neither will truly be right until he is.