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PLAYERS HAVE FAITH IN ROSTER

Tuesday, 08.04.2009 / 11:02 AM / Features
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PLAYERS HAVE FAITH IN ROSTER
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While it's a hockey player's mantra that players must step up and do the job for an injured teammate, it's been proven time and again that injuries to several key players can't be overcome.

That's what happened to the Buffalo Sabres, a team that was in playoff contention into March, despite injuries to Tim Connolly, Thomas Vanek and Craig Rivet, before goalie Ryan Miller missed 13 games with an ankle injury.

Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier didn't tinker much with his lineup over the summer, believing that if the team can stay relatively healthy, it'll be a serious contender for the Northeast Division crown and more.

The local media has criticized Regier's approach, but the players deeply appreciate his faith in them, said rugged forward Adam Mair.

"I love our team and I love our players," Mair said. "When you look at the young players we've signed to long-term contracts, you can see that Darcy and upper management believe in those players. It would go against the plan to deviate and start bringing in new players because we missed the playoffs by two points.

"Management has a strategy here and the contracts show that. This team is maturing, but it doesn't come easily and we have to work at it. There's a need for the guys in our dressing room to realize it's up to us and we have to get the job done this year."

Mair had a solid season in 2008-09, despite a midseason knee injury, totaling 8 goals and 19 points, his second-highest total in six seasons with Buffalo. He also had 95 penalty minutes.

"The game changed (with the new rules and standard of enforcement in 2005)," Mair said. "There's more emphasis on stick penalties and hits to the head. I have to be responsible and limit my penalties because it's so hard to score five-on-five now, and you don't want to give the other team power plays.

"I've become a little smarter. My fights have stayed constant, between five and 10 a year."

Mair was impressed last season at training camp with the energy and commitment of Rivet, a new arrival who soon after coming aboard was named team captain. He supported Rivet's selection as captain and was even more impressed when Rivet came to his aid in the season's second game, against the New York Islanders. Mair was hiding a shoulder injury suffered in the preseason.

"That was huge," Mair said. "The Islanders were down 3-0 and trying to change momentum with a fight off a faceoff. I was playing with a numb shoulder and didn't want to further aggravate it. He turned a one-on-one fight into a five-on-five little scrum. It showed his character and caring for teammates."

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