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REINFORCEMENTS ARE IN

Friday, 03.14.2008 / 2:11 PM / Features
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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REINFORCEMENTS ARE IN
Michael Funk (Photo: Getty Images)
For the second time, Michael Funk will get the chance to suit up with the Buffalo Sabres.
 
And once again, he is needed to fulfill a big role.
 
RELATED LINKS
Michael Funk: Audio
Paul GaustadVideo
Lindy Ruff: Audio





When Funk was first called up from the Rochester Americans in November of last season it was to help make up for the loss of Buffalo’s top duo of Toni Lydman and Henrik Tallinder.
 
This situation is no different for the 21-year-old, as he is needed to help replace the likes Jaroslav Spacek (chest), Dmitri Kalinin (shoulder) and now Nathan Paetsch (concussion), who are sidelined with injuries.
 
“We’ve been playing a lot of games down in Rochester and I just want to fill in,” Funk said. “If I’m playing good and I get extra ice time it’s a bonus. I just want to help out the team as much as I can and we will see where it takes us from there.”
 
In his first stint with the team, Funk recorded two assists in five games. The six-foot-four, 199-pound defenseman was just 12 games removed from juniors when he was called up from the Amerks.
 
However, he only totaled around 17 minutes of ice-time in the call-up. This time around, the blueliner could see that much ice-time in one game, as the Sabres take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at HSBC Arena.
 
“We’re going to play him and use him in that that five, six spot and try to get him probably 10-12 minutes, somewhere in that,” Lindy Ruff said. “It just depends on how it goes.
 
“The better he plays, the more he plays.”
 
With a bit more experience Funk hopes to make a contribution.
 
“This is what we are paid for. It is tough at times, but being down in the minors and everything you just want to get better with every day,” Funk said.
 
Helping him to adjust are the familiar faces of Andrej Sekera and Mike Weber, who were also called up in response to the injuries.
 
“It’s nice to see those guys here,” Funk said.
 
“There are three of us up now from Rochester and it’s a big opportunity and we want to help out as much as anybody else.”
 
Funk finished last season with seven points (2+5) in 61 games with the Amerks. This season the self-described “defensive defenseman” has eight points (0+8) in 50 games played.
 
Prior to his first season with the Amerks in 2006-07, Funk played for the Portland Winger Hawks in the WHL. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2002-03 and finished eighth in scoring among WHL defensemen in 2005-06 with 47 points (11+ 36).

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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