Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tallinder to miss rest of playoffs

The Buffalo Sabres dream run to within two wins of the Stanley Cup finals has hit a major bump, one that few NHL clubs could recover from. Sabres defenceman Henrik Tallinder suffered a broken arm during last night's game, meaning Buffalo is now without three of their regular six defencemen.

Tallinder, who leads the NHL with a +14 rating after 14 games, is the biggest loss, as he's been not only Buffalo's best defender, but one of the best in these Stanley Cup playoffs. Here's what Tom Luongo from Sabre Rattling said in the comments section on my game-night post:
My hope is that Paetcsh and Jillson can handle 8-10 minutes and that Tim Connolly returns to solidify our offense. I think with that defense we'll need to score 6 to win and we won't score 6 without Timmy.

To say that I'm pessimistic right now is an understatment. Tallinder and Roloson are my front-runners for the Conn Smythe at this point, and you just don't replace that kind of player.
Working in the Sabres favour, of course, is the fact they lead the series two games to one, and only need to win two of the final four games to advance. So far, however, Carolina has already been outshooting the undermanned Sabres and holding the balance of play.

I can only imagine that will worsen should Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff follow through with his plan to put the undersized Jason Pominville back on the blueline.
"You feel terrible for the guy," Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said of Tallinder, 27, who is in his third full season in Buffalo. "The disappointing part is he played tremendous for us and now he won't be a part of it."

Ruff said Tallinder was hurt on "an innocent hit that left him with the injury. It was just a freak accident."



At 11:54 a.m., May 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This brings back bad memories of the Flames playoff run when we had to put in Mike Commodore and Steve Montador, while Regehr played with a broken foot. Which is why I liked Sutter's moves through this season to stockpile on defencemen. We ended up having Marchment and Hulse in reserve in case there were any injuries.

Of course all of this has been completely irrelevant for the past month. But I think it illustrates that the more useful deadline moves are the ones that bring depth to the team. In hindsight, the Sabres should have looked at adding a solid 7th or even 8th defencemen at the deadline.


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