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MAKING STRIDES

Patrick Kaleta looks to improve in all areas of his game

Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 2:57 PM / News
By Chris Ryndak  - Sabres.com
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MAKING STRIDES
To go forward, Patrick Kaleta has been moving backward.

Patrick Kaleta

To go forward, Patrick Kaleta has been moving backward.

The Buffalo Sabres right wing has been relied on to kill penalties for the club and he spent the offseason in Buffalo focusing on an aspect of his skating that he believes will help him on special teams.

“I worked heavily on my backwards skating, which a little weird if you’re wondering, because I play forward,” Kaleta said after practice at First Niagara Center on Saturday. “But I want to become the best penalty killer possible. I want to take that step to the next level with that aspect of my game.”

Sabres coach Ron Rolston has said that he’s looking for players on the fourth line that can play a physical game, create energy and play a defensive role, particularly on the penalty kill.

That pretty much describes Kaleta’s game, but he’s also been working to improve on the offensive side. He had one goal in 34 games last season. He scored 10, a career-high, back in 2009-10.

“That is what I do and I am expecting to improve my offensive ability this year. I’ve been working on that, too, watching video and all that sort of stuff,” he said. “I’m putting a little bit of pressure on myself to contribute and help in our goal scoring column and in the points column a little bit more too.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW TRAINING CAMP PHOTO GALLERY

The high intensity level of this training camp has been noticeable. Defenseman Tyler Myers mentioned on Friday that the up-tempo pace in practices and scrimmages was welcome as the team prepares for its first preseason game in Montreal on Sunday and ultimately for the regular season opener on Oct. 2 in Detroit. Kaleta agreed with that assessment.

“I like that. Get a little body going on in the scrimmage, which prepares me even more for the regular season. But that’s what you want,” Kaleta said. “You want the older guys to lead the way and you want the younger guys to push the older guys.”

And as younger guys make that push, Kaleta, who’s entering his eighth NHL season, is also looking to play a leadership role and help out the less experienced players in camp.

“I’m an older guy now, which is kind of hard to believe, but it’s my job to show the young guys the way,” he said. “…I remember my first camp, I came in here hitting everything and I came in with the mentality of making the team even though it wasn’t a reality at that point.

“That’s what I try to instill into some of these guys’ heads that you’re coming here to make a team. You’re not coming here just to see the big guys go to work and that’s it. You want to come here and push us and get that roster spot.”

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