Feb 17, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers (57) during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the First Niagara Center. Penguins beat the Sabres 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Is Hank The Key To Reviving Myers’ Play?


When I first read the news that Henrik Tallinder was back with Buffalo I immediately thought two things: 1) Well hey! A decent defenseman to help pick up the swiss cheese defense we have and 2) Is this a plan to try and revive Tyler Myers?

June 11, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Henrik Tallinder (7) battles for the puck with Los Angeles Kings left wing Dwight King (74) during the second period of game six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Myers, who turned 23 this past February, missed the last 7 games of the 2012-2013 season due to a broken leg sustained on April 12 in a 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Let’s be brutally honest, Myers has not played well since his Calder year. That was 2010. Three years ago. That’s a lot in hockey years. Myers won the Calder Trophy, as the league’s best rookie, with compliments to who? That’s right, Henrik Tallinder.

I don’t think that Myers is a one-hit wonder, I think he has the potential to be great. My best guess, is he had a lot of success with Hank, Hank left, and that left Myers out to try and pull off a repeat performance, without a big piece of his success. Well that is at least my opinion.

Also in my opinion, Myers is the first player in the Sabres system, in as long as I can remember, who was drafted and immersed immediately to the NHL level. I am not saying that is the huge reason for his decline, but I feel he wasn’t developed enough to play as well as he did, lose his compliment in Tallinder, and then try to put his team on his back in only his sophomore season, notoriously called the sophomore slump.

That is not saying he is bad at all, I just think he put too much on his plate for only being in the league one year. Something goes wrong and it just becomes a cascade, things start to slip, soon enough you’re left with barely any confidence.

The Sabres are in a rebuild, my suggestion is Myers just needs to rebuild his mentality. Bringing in a familiar face, a veteran face, may in fact kick start Myers return to his former stature.

Also, aside from John Scott standing at 6′ 8,” Myers stands just under at 6′ 7.” We need that. Plain and simple. I can’t even begin to tell you how tired I am of hearing about the goon that Zdeno Chara is. Big deal he is 6′ 9,” the tallest player in the NHL. If we can get Myers back to his former competitive self, Chara won’t be a threat.

All I believe Myers needs is a boost in confidence, Buffalo doesn’t need to whip his back and slap his wrists when something goes wrong. Give him a break, let him sulk about it, and let him get back out on the ice, and fix his mistake.

Does bringing in Tallinder help in bringing him out of his shell? I don’t know, but if we can trade away Riley Boychuk, a prospect, to get back Myers former line-mate a proven chemical match, why not give it a shot.

Sure, one player may not heal all the wounds, but it is the thought process of the organization to try and fix it instead of putting him out on the market and letting someone else take the opportunity. We are rebuilding, right? We aren’t trying to win the cup, at least for a few years. Taking risks like this are good for us.

Going by the numbers, the line of Myers/Tallinder scored a total of 68 points, comprised of 15 goals (11 for Myers and 4 for Tallinder) and 53 assists (37 for Myers and 16 for Tallinder).

Since being separated, both of their numbers have significantly dropped, due to time out because of scratches and injuries.

What do those numbers say anyways?

Well to me that means that Myers has more of an offensive presence among the blue-line, while Tallinder has a defensive mindset and he contributes as much as he can.

Paying attention to how Myers declined, he still tried to put forth an offensive effort, which resulted in him getting caught up and an odd man rush resulted, usually ending in a goal.

Back in 2009-2010, Myers would shoot, and if any rush were to develop, it would seem to work out that Tallinder would pick up the rush, giving Myers the time to settle in.

Oddly reminiscent of the “Left Side, Strong Side” scene from Remember The Titans, where two sides came together to form this bond that seemed to pick up the slack where it needed, and the other side would compliment.

If it works out then great! We’ll have our former defenseman start to rise again, if not, we still gave up basically nothing to bring in a veteran who can serve as a mentor to the younger players.

Smart move, Buffalo, smart move.

Comment below!

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  • Kevin

    I agree with your last statement about Tallinder being in essence a win win addition.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Definitely a “win-win.” It would be shame if this is the only trade the Sabres actually make during the offseason, but it certainly was a smart move. Myers looked laughably bad last season – I still remember one game (I believe against Carolina) when Myers stopped to fix his helmet and allowed a player to skate right around him and score! Tallinder’s first job: show Myers how to tighten his chin strap!!

  • Tony

    I have been very critical of Myers since his rookie year saying he’s lazy, out of shape, out of position, a liability, and to put it simply, just terrible on the ice. This definitely gives me a new perspective. I hope he does turn it around soon. Good article.

  • Jes

    Myers will be great this season. Heard it here first. He did great under Rolston while he was in. And with a pre season and a full summer of training and knowing you are October will go a long way. Acquiring Tallinder was a good move, but hopefully it’s only for this upcoming season. We got many defensemen ready to make the jump to the NHL. Pysyk, Ristolainen, McNabb, and Ruhwedel are all NHL ready. And Zadorov and McCabe could be ready in a couple years as well

  • davidmuscalo

    I think this is Myers last year in Buffalo if he doesn’t show significant improvement. Tallinder, in my opinion, was acquired to help Myers to get back to where he was three years ago. If that doesn’t happen, he will be gone next season.

    Personally, I think Myers lacks the mental toughness that is needed to become a marquee defensemen although I hope he proves me wrong.