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MYERS IMPRESSIVE IN DEBUT

Monday, 10.05.2009 / 9:56 AM / Features
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MYERS IMPRESSIVE IN DEBUT
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Normally, you'd be a little concerned if you found the No. 3 star of an NHL game, a rookie, wandering around in the rain outside his hotel shortly after dawn the next morning.

But Tyler Myers wasn't stumbling back to his hotel after a night of partying.

No, Myers and a few hundred other residents of Buffalo's Adam's Mark Hotel were rousted by a fire alarm Sunday morning.

Myers, 19, the Buffalo Sabres' first selection with the 12th pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, is staying at the hotel through the first 10 games of the 2009-10 season. The Sabres have that long to make a decision to keep Myers for the year or return him to his junior team, the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL, for a fourth season.

Myers was asked how he could top being the third star of his first NHL game.

"I don't know," he said. "Honestly, I really am just taking it game by game and we'll see what happens. But it was a lot of fun."

The only downside for Myers of being the No. 3 star was that the Sabres lost their season opener to the Montreal Canadiens, 2-1, on Brian Gionta's goal at 2:42 of overtime. Gionta was named the No. 2 star and teammate Carey Price, who made 34 saves, was the No. 1 star.

"We were unlucky. We had a lot of chances but we couldn't score again after the first goal," Myers said.

Buffalo took a 1-0 lead on Tim Connolly's power-play goal at 2:40 of the first period, but Price stopped everything else the Sabres threw at him. They dominated play, but the Canadiens were adept in front of their net and did a great job of clearing their zone.

Buffalo's dominance was also greatest during the first half of each period, an indication that frustration with Price perhaps led to mental fatigue.

There seems to be little chance Myers is going back to Kelowna. He attended Buffalo's training camp last summer and then was returned for a third season in juniors, in which he had nine goals and 33 assists. He's 6-foot-8 -- the second-tallest player in the NHL -- and 220 pounds, and nobody pushed him around in his debut. He also drew two penalties and looked like a long-established veteran when he handled the puck.

"I thought (Myers) was really good, made a lot of good decisions and made a lot of good plays," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

Ruff surprised everyone in the HSBC Arena when he used rookies Myers and Tim Kennedy on the first penalty kill of the season.

"I think if you're going to have young players, you have to play them," Ruff said. "They have to feel like they are part of the game. I tried to give them a really good feel for the game."

Myers was paired with Henrik Tallinder, the usual partner of Toni Lydman, who was scratched.

"Lydman's got a little bit of an injury, not bad," Myers said.

In addition to Tallinder, he figures to learn a lot from veteran defenseman and Sabres captain Craig Rivet.

"Absolutely," Myers said, with emphasis. "Both of them. Rivet has been great with me, talks to me all the time, right from the beginning."

And although Jaroslav Spacek is now gone, departed for Montreal over the summer, he had his impact on Myers as well.

"I didn't miss him. We were at training camp together a year ago," Myers said. "I did learn from him, too."

That's good because Myers will be counted on more and more this season to fill Spacek's role as the offensive leader of the defense corps. Myers made great progress in that area last season, as evidenced by his performance in the WHL playoffs. Myers had five goals and 15 assists in 22 playoff games.

Myers said he was looking forward to Buffalo's next game on Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

"Yeah, I might get a chance to play against my old Kelowna teammate, Colin Long, who just signed with the Coyotes. That should be fun," Myers said. Long, Kelowna's leading scorer last season and the No. 99 pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, signed an entry-level contract Thursday.

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