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NIEDERMAYER'S LEADERSHIP ALREADY PAYING DIVIDENDS

Monday, 09.20.2010 / 11:01 AM / News
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NIEDERMAYER\'S LEADERSHIP ALREADY PAYING DIVIDENDS
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Well before Rob Niedermayer signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres, the veteran’s presence was felt in the locker room – at least for defenseman Steve Montador.

Playing with Niedermayer for the better part of three seasons – both with the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks – Montador was stuck by his balanced demeanor both on and off the ice and tried to emulate his approach to the game.

“What he adds is something that a Mike Grier adds – and that’s just the calming effect of what it means to be a true professional,” Montador said. “But also when things are up or down, he doesn’t get too up or down. You can see it today, preparing before practice, he was working out and getting ready just as a good pro does. I think that should rub off [on younger players]. I know that I followed him.

“Actually I told him today about some of the things I do as a pro now are from things that learned from him eight or nine years ago. He’s not the most vocal type of guy, but he just goes about his business and is a great addition.”

Not only has Niedermayer been the consummate professional as a veteran of 16 NHL seasons, but he stands as the only player in the Sabres dressing room who has taken home the Stanley Cup – winning a championship with the Ducks in 2007.

“Anytime you can bring in a player who has won the Stanley Cup and has gone through that process and been a part of winning… we feel that we’re closer and that we can challenge for the East,” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said. “He knows what it takes.”

“But experience can only do so much,” Niedermayer argued. “When you’ve played in different situations you can try and help in the aspect of trying to prepare the guys, but until you get there and do it, it’s pretty tough to explain everything. You can help them in other ways though.

“I think the team just has to click at the right time and that was the case with [the Ducks in 2007]. We didn’t have a lot of guys who had won the Cup before, but we did it in Anaheim.”

Montador, however, believes good habits breed success.

“If you see that something is working for somebody else and maybe it’s a similar area [you will tend to try it],” he said. 

Niedermayer signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on July 7 as an unrestricted free agent. He spent last season in New Jersey where he scored 22 points (10+12) in 71 games. He was also second on the team with a faceoff percentage of 50.6, winning 478 of 945 draws.

And while he typically played the role of centerman with the Devils, Niedermayer has also spent some time on the wing – and says he is comfortable in either position.

“We’ll see how everything goes in training camp and where the best fit is,” he said. “I think that they’ve had a good team for a lot of years. “They have some really good leaders here with [Craig] Rivet and [Mike] Grier and a lot of guys that have been around and done a lot of good things in this League. I’m going to try to come in and help out in that way and hopefully have a good year.

“At my age, I just want to play on a team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup and I think that this team has as good a chance as any.”

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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