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Sabres' Sekera works to be a constant threat

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09-30-2011, 10:17 PM
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Sabres' Sekera works to be a constant threat

At 25, Andrej Sekera is heading into a phase of his career at which he has shed the prospect label. It's his fourth season with the Buffalo Sabres and he should be firmly entrenched as a regular, both because of his play and the four-year, $11-million contract he signed in July.

There's the issue for the Sabres. They've seen brilliant play from Sekera and there's been some brutal stretches that have caused coach Lindy Ruff to make Sekera a healthy scratch.

There should be no more of that. Everyday contributions are what's expected of Sekera now.
The Sabres' seven-man defense corps is clearly improved with the additions of Christian Ehrhoff and Robyn Regehr. Tyler Myers, Sekera and Jordan Leopold all have big-money deals while Mike Weber and Marc-Andre Gragnani are still in the prospect mode but offer huge upsides.

"It's going to be tough," Ruff said. "There's seven players that can all play. ... I know one thing for sure: We're going to use all seven."

Sekera is taking nothing for granted.

"Every single guy can play NHL level hockey and it's up to us how well we perform," he said. "Whoever plays good will play. I know I have to play a bigger role on this team than I used to and continue the strong games I had last season and keep improving."

Sekera said the contract won't put any more pressure on him to perform.

"I want to be helpful for my teammates and it doesn't matter if you have a one-year deal or a five-year deal," he said. "You still have to perform. They believe in you and you don't want to disappoint the trust they showed. I was very happy to get a deal done. It shows how they believe in me and the potential I have."

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10-01-2011, 03:42 AM
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Unfortunately, I expect to continue to see ebbs and flows in his overall play. I hope this doesn't happen, but part of me knows Gragnani will inevitably see some of Sekera's ice based on seasons' prior. This coming from one of Sekera's biggest supporters - when he's on, he's damn good.

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10-02-2011, 10:55 PM
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My two criticisms of Sekera have been:

1. Can't make up his mind with the puck.
2. Not good at all around his own net.

My two biggest compliments:

1. Tremendous skater.
2. Great first pass.

I find Weber to be great at fighting for ice around the net but usually after the fact, because he's poor at establishing the proper positioning. Leopold is great at establishing position but not feisty enough at keeping it. Sekera is poor at both of those things.

Sometimes he looks like he could skate with the puck for an entire minute like Kovalev in his prime, but that's not a good thing. He needs to be more decisive. If you have a lane SHOT. If you're going to skate it up ice GET IT DEEP either by chasing it or chipping it.

The talent is clearly there, all that's left for him to do is show the confidence in his game that will have him realize his 40+ point potential. Sekera can be a rock solid top 4 d-man.

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10-03-2011, 12:21 AM
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This HAS to be the year where he steps up and becomes a consistent top 4 defenseman. This is Reggie's year. If he doesn't play well almost every night I expect to see a change, because he sure as hell has some competition.

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10-03-2011, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jBuds View Post
Unfortunately, I expect to continue to see ebbs and flows in his overall play. I hope this doesn't happen, but part of me knows Gragnani will inevitably see some of Sekera's ice based on seasons' prior. This coming from one of Sekera's biggest supporters - when he's on, he's damn good.
I agree, up to a point.

I like Sekera, and yes, he's been inconsistent, but really, so has every other Sabre defenseman in the last 10 years, bordering from great to mediocre (ALL of them, including Myers, Lydman, Hank, Teppo, etc.) to horrible outbursts of uselessness (Kalinin vs Ottawa).

Problem is, Sekera's got the label on him. Inconsistent.
And while Leo, for example, will go "unnoticed" through his rough patches, Rej will get singled out and may end up paying with ice-time.
Singled out both by the fans, and by Ruff.


For my money, he was the best Sabre defenseman last season, when put into context (expectations considered - obviously Myers is the #1, but Myers had a very poor first 30 games or so, and Rej, Leo and Monty held the fort).

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