Buffalo Sabres Defenseman Tyler Myers Struggling Early

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The Buffalo Sabres are off to one of the worst starts in recent memory with a 1-4-1 record, with the only win coming in the first game of the season against the Ottawa Senators. In the first six games last season, the Sabres were 4-1-1. One of the main reasons for the poor record has been the substandard play of reigning Calder Trophy-winning defenseman Tyler Myers.

Tyler Myers was by far the Buffalo Sabres’ best defenseman last season. He had 11 goals and 48 points as a rookie while playing all 82 games. The fans and coaches alike were very pleased with his composure and confidence to be able to jump up into the offensive play while locking things down in his own end.

This year has been a different story thus far for Myers. In his first six games as a rookie, he had one goal and four points and was a plus-five. In his first six games he only has one assist and is an NHL-worst minus-seven.

There are many reasons why Myers is performing this poorly. One could say that the departure of his defensive partner Henrik Tallinder last offseason has an effect.  

Another could be that opposing teams have figured out how to play Myers and his long reach while entering the offensive zone and forechecking. Myers has visibly been shaky and indecisive on the ice when handling the puck. Darcy Regier was quoted in an interview on WGR550 in Buffalo that perhaps Myers is “doubting that the first play is the best play.”

Myers has the right mentality to get out of this slump. He has shown that he is a grounded individual throughout last season. Before he turns six games of poor play into an entire season of mediocrity, he needs to simplify his game. The groin injury to his defensive partner to start the year, Shaone Morrisonn, does not help matters however.

As much as it is publicized that the Buffalo Sabres rely on goaltender Ryan Miller too much, the play of Tyler Myers is equally important. Covering in the defensive zone is his first priority, but with the Sabres struggling to score goals and losing one-goal games, Myers’ offensive skills need to translate into points to help him and his team out of this early season rut.

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