These days, Tyler Myers can't even carry an armload of pucks without dropping them everywhere like a goof. Fail.
11 games into the 2013 season, the Buffalo Sabres are allowing 3.73 goals a night, which ties them with the Washington Capitals for league-worst.
Suffice it to say, being comparable to the Capitals in any way right now is cause for alarm, and Lindy Ruff has chosen to react. The Sabres' coach has banished Tyler Myers -- who has hardly been an impact player to start the year -- to the press box for Saturday's date with the New York Islanders.
“I’m embarrassed, and I should be,” said Myers, who was benched for a game early last season. “Two years in a row now. It doesn’t feel very good, but silver lining, I responded the way I needed to last time, and this is what I have to do this time.”
Myers has one goal, no assists and a team-worst minus-9 rating through the Sabres’ opening 11 games. The goal was a game-winner in the opener against Philadelphia, but it banked in off a Flyers defender.
That's how frustrated the city of Buffalo is with Myers. No one is even willing to give him his one goal. Cold-blooded, Vogl. (Diversion: As soon as I said "Vogl", this is all I could think about.)
One can argue about the sense of putting your best defenceman in the press box just for not playing like your best defenceman. Is a struggling Tyler Myers really a worse option than all six of the blueliners Buffalo will ice Saturday? I doubt it. Stick him on the bottom pairing. Give him 10 minutes. Play your best team, at least.
Granted, the Sabres won't see the playoffs this season unless Myers is leading that blueline with something resembling All-Star hockey. Offensively, Buffalo are doing just fine. Lord knows Thomas Vanek can't play any better (unless he can, in which case, God help us all). It's the porousness that needs solving.
Thus, if Ruff can force number one play out of his number one defenceman (at least financially -- again, twelve million), it will be difficult to question his decision in hindsight. And, speaking of hindsight, as mentioned, he pulled the same stunt last season and it worked.
Myers was scratched 16 games into the 2011-12 season. In his first game back, he scored two goals and was named the game's second star in a 5-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Will he do the same this time around? Early returns are promising. He's certainly reacting the same way. He was penitent last time too. "It's not good enough for me," Myers said then. "I have to be better."
Thinking about it, he was even more penitent this time around. He said was embarrassed. That's a much stronger quote. So maybe he'll return even stronger?
Hat trick for Myers' next game. You heard it here first.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney
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