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BLUELINERS READY TO MAKE IMPACT

Thursday, 09.18.2008 / 9:42 AM / Features
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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BLUELINERS READY TO MAKE IMPACT
Andrej Sekera (Photo: Getty Images)
As blueliners, Andrej Sekera and Mike Weber are accustomed to working towards a common goal.

They worked together last season as a tandem on the Rochester Americans, and again for the Buffalo Sabres filling in for an injured defense corp.

Now the duo has another goal in mind as rookie camp gets underway; to attain starting roles for the Buffalo Sabres in the 2008-09 season.

“I think anything less would be a disappointment,” Sekera said. “That’s why I did everything possible this summer to make sure that I make the team this year… You have to set your mind to it, believe that you can do it and it will happen.”

The young defensemen were anything but a letdown last season. Combining for a plus-17 rating and 14 points, the pair earned continual praise from the Sabres coaching staff.

Their chemistry was never more evident than March 30 when the tandem secured a 2-1 victory against the Boston Bruins in overtime. Sekera accepted a pass from Weber and fired a shot from the blueline to beat Alex Auld just 39 seconds into the extra frame, keeping Buffalo’s playoff hopes alive.

But what does that mean coming into this year?

“Probably absolutely nothing,” Weber said. “It’s a whole new season, a whole new team. There are some new guys, there have been some good signings in the offseason… so it doesn’t really amount to anything.

“I think you come into camp with a clean slate and it’s almost like it never happened. It’s good for confidence, last season, but I have to go out and prove myself again right now in the main camp.”

Mike Weber (Photo: Getty Images)
Weber, a 20-year-old native of Pittsburgh, served as a rookie not only in the NHL in 2007-08, but in the AHL as well.

Through 59 games for the Amerks, the Sabres’ 2006 draft pick (57th overall) tallied 14 points (1+13) and finished second on the team for rookie scoring.

He hopes to have a similar impact soon donning the blue and gold.

“If there’s a job open, I want it to be mine,” Weber said. “I want to play in the NHL, I want to help this team. Every day I have to go in ready to earn that spot and win that spot.”

Helping him develop along the way is his defense partner, Sekera. The 22 year old was recalled three times for Buffalo in 2007-08 – playing in 37 games for the Sabres.

“Every game I played here I felt more and more comfortable,” Sekera said. “I think at the end of the season I felt pretty good. I was playing good minutes on the ice and I think I played decent hockey. I just want to continue to build on that and hopefully I will get better and better.”

“It’s helping me [to have Weber here] and I think it’s helping him too,” Sekera added. “We know what each guy needs and is capable of. We try to help each other whenever we can and I think it makes it easier on the ice.

“It’s a balance. He is more of a stay-at-home defenseman and I like to be more up in front… I think it works pretty well.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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