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NOTEBOOK: TALLINDER TAKING PRECAUTIONS

Defenseman Has Neck Guard Sew Into Jersey

Friday, 02.29.2008 / 7:05 PM ET / News
By Brian Wheeler  - Sabres.com
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NOTEBOOK: TALLINDER TAKING PRECAUTIONS
Henrik Tallinder is trying to minimize as many risks as possible on the ice.  In light of the horrifying neck injury suffered by Richard Zednik in HSBC Arena on Feb. 10, Tallinder has taken what he believes to be a necessary precaution.

The 29-year-old defenseman had the Buffalo Sabres equipment staff sew a neck protector into his under jersey.

The collar, which extends maybe two inches above the sweater's v-neck, is made from a sort of Kevlar material that is intended to prevent cutting if struck with a skate or stick blade.  Tallinder said it feels as if he's wearing a cotton turtleneck.

The protection was made mandatory in Tallinder's home country of Sweden after a similar incident ended in a fatality.

"I was always wearing one [when he played hockey] back home," said Tallinder.  "When I got over here, no one was wearing it and I kind of forgot about it. 

Zednik's accident served as a chilling reminder. 

"It makes you think," said Tallinder.

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Daniel Paille's status is unknown following Buffalo's 6-2 loss to Montreal on Friday night.  The 23 year old left the game with eight minutes remaining in regulation after being undercut by Canadiens defenseman Mike Komisarek.

Following the contest, head coach Lindy Ruff took exception to the play.

"That's a cheap shot when you take a guy's knees out," said Ruff.

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After a morning of speculation on the part of media and fans whether or not Maxim Afinogenov and/or Drew Stafford would dress against Montreal, Ruff decided to dress with the most talented lineup.  Enforcer Andrew Peters and rookie Clarke MacArthur were removed and replaced by the pair of wingers that missed a combined 25 games due to their most recent ailments.

Afinogenov and Stafford each saw more than 10 minutes of ice time against Montreal.  Ruff stated Friday  morning that he was hesitant to break up lines that produced more than a half dozen goals in their last game.

"It's easy to look back and say you shouldn't have changed," said Ruff.  "I don't feel the lineup had anything to do with it.  We made some glaring mistakes that allowed them to win that game and they deserved to win the game."

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Tomas Plekanec's three power-play goals was the first hat trick the Sabres have allowed since Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson and Martin Havlat each scored four goals in a 10-4 Buffalo loss on Nov. 2, 2005.

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Quotable:  "They were better than us, they kicked us around a little bit, took advantage of odd-numbered situations, got in behind us, our defense got caught, our forwards didn't cover up and it made for a pretty embarrassing night."  -- Lindy Ruff regarding the loss at home
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