It's time to put the finishing touches on the 2008-2009 season for the Buffalo Sabres. Here is a complete report card of every single player that played a significant amount of time with the Sabres this season. Thanks to Japers Rink and Mile High Hockey for the inspiration.
|2008 - Patrick Kaleta||51||4||5||9||1||89||0||0||0||0||35||11.4|
Key Stat: Patric Kaleta is one of the best in the game at drawing penalties. He was fifth in the league with a plus 25 penalty plus/minus. Penalty plus/minus is a little known stat that was figured by my fellow SB Nation blogger Dirk Hoag at On the Forecheck.
If you figure his plus 25 based on the Sabres power play and penalty kill percentage...the Sabres would have been a plus five in goal differential on the extra 25 power plays. Kaleta may have only scored four goals this season but he was responsible for a couple more.
Interesting Stats: Kaleta finished the season third on the team in hits with 137. Kaleta was third on the team but he did that in only 51 games played. He averaged almost three hits every game.
Fun Fact: Kaleta is just the third Buffalo-area resident to play for the hometown Sabres in the regular season. Buffalo's Peter Ciavaglia played in 5 games between 1991 and 1993. Scott Thomas played 39 games for the Sabres between 1992 and 1994.
- Paul Gaustad - Daniel Paile (264 shifts - 3 points)
- Paul Gaustad - Clarke MacArthur (221 shifts - 2 points)
- Paul Gaustad - Jochen Hecht (142 shifts - 1 point)
- Matt Ellis - Andrew Peters (123 shifts - 0 points)
- Matt Ellis - Daniel Paille (95 shifts - 0 points)
Report: It's impossible to measure the importance of Kaleta by measuring statistics. It really comes down to whether or not you like his style of play.
Everyone loves a player that plays the physical style that Kaleta plays. The issue with Kaleta is the legality of is hits. He plays very close to the edge and many of his hits are borderline.
At this point in is career he has not been labeled as a dirty player as evident by his penalty plus/minus. He has used his physical play as a way to get under the skin of his opponents and often takes them off their game. We have seen many players retaliate against him...Denis Gauthier and Paul Mara come to mid immediately.
Along with the positive that Kaleta brings their is a negative aspect to his style of play as well. As the referees become more aware of his presence on the ice he could find himself in the box more often. Reputation is not supposed to matter on the ice but players like Sean Avery find themselves in the box more often than other players just because of reputation.
There are also the injury issues that come along with playing the style that Kaleta plays. For all the grief that Connolly gets, Kaleta had his share of head/neck injuries to deal with this season. Kaleta needs to continue to play the same style to remain in the NHL but he could have a very short career playing that style.
2008-2009 Salary: $500,000
2009-2010 Status: RFA
Vote: It's time to grade Kaleta for his play in the 2008-2009 season. Every player has expectations so vote based on those expectations. If a player played to their potential they should receive a "C" if they exceeded expectations they would receive a "B" or an "A".
Discuss: Should the Sabres re-sign Kaleta? Will Kaleta be able to play an entire season with minimal injuries? Do you think the referees will start to target Kaleta in the future?
Up Next: Patrick Lalime