It's time to put the finishing touches on the 2009-2010 season for the Buffalo Sabres. Here is a complete report card of every single player that played any amount of time with the Sabres this season. The journey will begin with Chris Butler and conclude in almost a month with Thomas Vanek. Thanks to Japers Rink and Mile High Hockey for the inspiration.
#5 / Defenseman / Buffalo Sabres
Sep 25, 1977
2008-2009 Grade: C
Contract Situation: Made $3.15 million in 2009-2010, UFA on July 1.
Introduction: Toni Lydman is one of the most under-appreciated players on the entire Buffalo Sabres roster. Lydman does the little things that the casual fan might not see. As a defenseman he is not expected to put up many points, and he doesn't. The only time he gets noticed is when he has one of his patented giveaways, since they almost always seem to find the back of the net.
Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Toni Lydman on his season according to the expectations you had for him. If he met them, give him a five or a six. If he eclipsed them, aim for a seven or beyond. If he failed to meet them, give him a lower number relating to how poorly he missed the target.
Follow the jump for more information on Toni Lydman.
Key Stat: Toni Lydman had one of the best plus/minus ratings on the team but his stats for goals against on the ice per 60 minutes from Behind the Net are even more impressive. The Sabres allowed only 1.88 goals per 60 minutes that Lydman was on the ice.
Thumbs Up: As I mentioned above, it is the little things that make Toni Lydman so good. He had the luxury of not playing on the top unit this season and it really paid off for him. He was teamed with Steve Montador most often and the pair thrived as they grew more and more comfortable with each other as the season wore on. Lydman had been the Sabres best shot-blocker most seasons but lost that title to rookie Tyler Myers this season. That didn't stop Loods from finishing second with 98 blocked shots on the season.
Thumbs Down: Two negatives come to mind the minute I hear the name Toni Lydman. He lacks consistency and he turns the puck over a lot, so much that he earned the nickname Toni Turnover last season. Lydman has the talent to be a shut down defenseman in the NHL but he lacks the drive to make him a consistent player. He seems to disappear for weeks on end during the season and this season he found himself in the press box as a healthy scratch on one occasion.
Discuss: What type of contract will Toni Lydman fetch this off-season? Will the Sabres be willing to pay that salary? Should the Sabres pay that salary? Where will Loods play next season?