Buffalo Sabres Preseason: The Case for Tyler Myers

Buffalo Sabres fans, it’s easy being me.

Seriously: I get to sit here, behind my computer, and act like I’m the GM or the head coach of the Sabres organization, criticizing this, wishing someone had done that differently, etc., etc.

Easy.

Sep 19, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers (57) skates behind the net as Carolina Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner (53) pursues during the third period at First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Hurricanes 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Believe me, though: I know the jobs I act like I know so much about are far more difficult than we make them seem.  For instance: head coach Ron Rolston (or GM Darcy Regier, if we’re being honest) has a couple of sledgehammers at his disposal on the blueline between Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov.  I’m sure he would like to use them to help the Sabres create one of the more intimidating defenses in the NHL . . . but Rolston/Regier also have at their disposal Tyler Myers, the sort of D-man who is not going to give the team a physically intimidating presence, but who can give the team a nice boost on offense, IF he can begin to resemble the player everyone thought he would be back in 2009-2010.

Today, I’m here to argue that Tyler Myers is going to have a season that solidifies his claim as the Buffalo Sabres #1 defenseman.

Let’s start with the obvious: the Buffalo Sabres made a wise choice during the offseason to re-acquire defenseman Henrik Tallinder.  Tallinder wasn’t happy to be sitting so much, the New Jersey Devils wanted to clear some cap space, and the Sabres wanted to bring back a veteran blueliner who has already displayed good chemistry with Myers.  That’s a win-win-win situation no matter how you look at it, and from what I have seen the pairing is already paying off.

Going back to the game against the Carolina Hurricanes last week, Myers has looked much more comfortable and confident on the ice during this preseason than he did pretty much at any given moment in time last season last season.   He’s been blocking some shots, a fearlessness that I love to see given the fact that he broke a bone in his leg last season, and he’s been smart with the puck: only one giveaway in four games.  There’s not much more I can say; Myers has had a great preseason.

Apr. 11, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers (57) and Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) battle for position in front of Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) during the second period at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The reason I am so optimistic about Myers heading into the season goes beyond what I have seen from him on the ice, though, and extends to what I have seen and heard from him off the ice.  Last night in particular, I got the chance to watch his interview with Brian Duff on MSG, and I was truly impressed by the level of thoughtfulness and maturity that Myers displayed.  Hearing him talk about how he has been working to improve his mental approach to the game was very eye-opening, and restored my faith in him in a way that I really cannot explain.  Take a listen:

Suffice it to say, I buy into the fact that he is benefiting from the mental training regimen he is undergoing, and I predict that Tyler Myers is on the cusp of having the sort of season that makes people around the NHL take notice of him again.

What are your thoughts on Tyler Myers, based on what he has done during the preseason?  I’d love to know, here or @theamazingMrS!

Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Preseason, Tyler Myers

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  • Jes

    my favorite player in the NHL. he’s going to do awesome this year. especially with risto, pysyk, zadorov and others making a good push for lots of minutes in the near future he has to be going nothing but up.

  • Kevin

    That is the most confident and mature I have heard him sound yet. Let’s hope that means he has turned the corner. I believe he has. Now he has to go out and prove it.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I know, right? I was actually glued to the screen, when I usually ignore the interviews.

  • wolfdoctor

    I thought he played great last night. Last year I commented that I thought Myers was the worst player on the team. What a difference a year makes. If he plays well, I can definitely see the Sabres making the playoffs.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Cross your fingers!

  • erico

    hes absolutely looking amazing. hes played like a top 2 D this whole preseason. Hes completely transformed. Hes becoming the defenseman he should of been after his rookie season. postseason here we come

  • Matt Nolan

    I had him in fantasy hockey after rolston had benched him and he actually turned around his play toward the end of the year … I think lindy did a number on this team I like Ron Rolston and what he is doing

  • qwicwted

    IMO part of the problem with the team the past two years was apathy – it seemed our players took for granted that they would make the roster and get playing time. Competition for spots does a lot to change that thinking – changing the complexion of a team sends a message. I always wondered why our D had problems – especially having James Patrick and Teppo coaching them – makes me wonder if there were two conflicting schools of thought. Reflecting back on last year I remember times thinking to myself that the D looked confused as they all tried to jump into the play – they didn’t settle down until halfway through the season.

    Amazing how a few successes can restore confidence.