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LYDMAN SURPRISED TO BE SABRES CAPTAIN

Wednesday, 10.31.2007 / 3:49 PM / News
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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LYDMAN SURPRISED TO BE SABRES CAPTAIN
Toni Lydman
For the first time since he was playing juniors in Finland, defenseman Toni Lydman will be the captain of his team.

“But that was a long time ago,” he said “And I have more body hair now.”

RELATED LINKS
Video: Toni Lydman Post-Practice
Video: Lindy Ruff Post-Practice
Audio: Toni Lydman Post-Practice 
Audio: Lindy Ruff Post-Practice 
Audio: Henrik Tallinder Post-Practice 








The older…and hairier Lydman has impressed Buffalo’s coaching staff this season with his consistent play and on-ice leadership. He will succeed Jochen Hecht as a Sabres captain for the month of November.

Hecht will not miss having a letter on his jersey, however, as he and Brian Campbell were named as alternates.

“I think Toni has probably been our steadiest of defenders; the most physical,” Lindy Ruff said. “He’s done a real good job penalty killing. I think his effort inside every game has been very good."

Although he has only registered an assist and 12 penalty minutes on the year, Ruff said there were other factors in choosing this month’s captain.

“Often the choice would be guys who get points,” he continued. “But we looked at it on from a game-to-game basis on who we thought was the steadiest. Toni was one of them.”

The 30-year-old was originally drafted in 1996 by Calgary (89th overall), where he played until he was traded to Buffalo in 2005. The blue liner has recorded 130 points in 441 career games.

“It’s a great honor to wear the letter,” Lydman said. “A few years back if somebody would have told me that would happen, I would have probably laughed in their face. That just means one thing, also among others, that I am getting older.”

The Sabres prefer to say Lydman is more mature as a defenseman.

In 2006-07 he led the team with 167 blocked shots and has collected 20 in 10 games this season. His consistency has led to an increased amount of ice time, playing more that 28 minutes in 33 shifts against the Tampa Bay Lightning Oct. 27 and averaging more than 20 minutes per game.

“The last few games have been better than the start of the season,” Lydman said. “I wasn’t too happy about my play over the first couple of games. Hopefully it will keep going the right way and getting better, but I believe there is a lot that I can improve on.”

So far, it appears he is doing something right, becoming the second captain for Buffalo this year after Ruff opted to rotate the letter monthly following the departure of co-captains Chris Drury and Daniel Briere in the offseason.

“It definitely wasn’t my vocal abilities in this room,” Lydman said. “I’m not going to change my style. If there’s really an issue that I need to talk about I might, but there is enough guys that are talking before the games... I am not one of them.”

Lydman’s defensive partner, Henrik Tallinder, argues that Lydman’s play speaks volumes.

“He doesn’t take it [lightly]. It’s a big honor for him, but that’s the kind of guy he is,” Tallinder said. “Just down to earth and a cool guy.”


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82