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THE PERILS OF A BIG MAN

Friday, 11.18.2011 / 2:43 PM
By Kevin Snow - Sabres.com (@kwsnow) / THE MORNING SKATE
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THE MORNING SKATE
THE PERILS OF A BIG MAN

CAROLINA -- Tyler Myers got the news he’d been hoping for yesterday when NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan informed him that no suspension would be levied on him for the hit on Dainius Zubrus in Wednesday’s game against New Jersey.

“I was pretty relieved. You never want to get suspended,” said Myers. “Brendan Shanahan called me yesterday, and we had a conversation about the hit. He wanted to discuss what my thoughts were on it. I can really tell that he’s trying to inform all the players what’s an illegal hit and what is a legal hit. There’s a thin line, and I know it’s pretty tough. But it was a good conversation.

“One of the points that was brought up, was that there was contact with the head but there was also contact with the body,” said Myers. “If it had been a more lateral hit and just contact to the head, then there would’ve been a hearing and most likely a suspension. One of the things we discussed was that because I drove up and not across, that’s why there was no punishment for it.”

Being 6-foot-8 presents a problem for Myers when it comes to bodychecking. Physical play needs to be an integral part of his game, but it can also push him over that “thin line” when he makes contact. Myers clearly wasn’t targeting Zubrus’ head, but his body size makes it tough to avoid a smaller player in a case like that.

“That’s how it’s been throughout my whole life. It’s tough sometimes because my shoulder is going to be at (head) level when I engage players during a hit. It’s tough but you just have to manage it.”

Lindy Ruff agreed that Myers didn’t target Zubrus’ head, and understands the difficulties that he’ll have to deal with while being a dominating physical presence on the ice.

“It’s definitely tough. Obviously I challenged him to be more physical. I thought he played (on Wednesday) the way he needs to play as a big man. I think it’ll be tough, because there will be situations where the way his body is, his elbows and everything are head high. And that makes it tougher on a big man.”



TJ Brennan was recalled from Rochester on Thursday, but he’s not expected to be in the lineup tonight in Carolina. Ruff said the recall was more of a precautionary measure because the team is now down to six healthy defensemen due to the upper body injury Mike Weber suffered on Wednesday.

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