BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 26: Brayden McNabb #81 of the Buffalo Sabres carries the puck as he is defended by Brooks Laich #21 of the Washington Capitals during their NHL game at First Niagara Center on November 26, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Dave Sandford Getty Images)
November turned out to be quite the month from hell for the Buffalo Sabres. There has been a lot of activity on and off the ice, in and out of the infirmary, and up and down the I-90 to Rochester. The folks in the Sabres backroom stitching on the nameplates and numbers have certainly been very busy. If you've been gazing upon unfamiliar faces suiting up either in numbers you never seen before, or haven't observed in years, then here's your handy-dandy guide to some of the players that Lindy Ruff has been sending over the boards the last few games.
Stay tuned after the jump to see the junior Sabres you need to get used to seeing sooner or later, in order of the number of games they've played so far.
Corey Tropp (#78) - Tropp by now is already being considered a vet among the kids, having played 10 games so far this season with the Sabres. Apart from spawning all manner of catchphrases (Tropp It Like It's Hot, Tropp-ic Thunder, Tropp-ing Bombs, etc), the RW also generously doles out hits (as Chris Phillips Ottawa now knows). Read more about Tropp here. He is 1G, 1A, -2 on the season, but has returned to the Amerks now.
T.J. Brennan (#33) - Yet another one of the puckmoving d-men that the Sabres have by the boatload, Brennan scored on debut against the Bruins in the grudge rematch of the young season. The NJ-native leads all Amerks blueliners in shots on goal. He starred with the St. John's Fog in the QMJHL, earning the best rookie defenseman honors, which led to the Sabres picking him top of the 2nd round in the 2007 entry draft. He has brought a physical edge as well, with 9 hits in his 3 games so far.
Zack Kassian (#54) - Ever since he was drafted in the first round in 2009 by the Sabres, fans have been eagerly waiting, and often clamoring, for Kassian to move up to the senior squad. Riverssyr has a comprehensive post on Kassian right here. Another big-bodied RW, Kassian has toned down some of the bad boy image he had cultivated while playing in the juniors with the Peterborough Petes and Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. While he has been focusing on improving his offensive play this year, he hasn't shied away from hitting, with Jeff Schultz of the Capitals feeling the impact of Kassian's 215-lb frame. Kassian has 1G, 1A, +1 and 8 hits in the three games he has played.
Drew MacIntyre (#31) - Is the backup goalie to the backup goalie. A journeyman AHLer, he was drafted by the Red Wings in 2001, and since then has done his time with various clubs, even playing in two games for the Canucks. He has appeared in relief for Jhonas Enroth, letting in 1 goal on 18 shots. He had a less-than-stellar start at the Amerks, going just 3-4-1, with a GAA of 2.74 and .909 SV%.
Brayden McNabb (#81) - McNabb is 6'4" 204lbs, and he plays like he's on a mission. A mission to flatten anyone that is in his way, that is. Just ask Jason Chimera of the Capitals. Or Frans Nielsen and Brian Rolston of the Islanders would gladly testify. The big blueliner has eight hits, three takeaways, two shots on goal and one blocked shot, all in just two games played. Ruff must be rubbing his hands at glee at the prospect of having McNabb paired up with Tyler Myers again. Again you ask? Yes, a little known fact about this d-man is that he played alongside Myers in prep school! McNabb made his name with Kootenay Ice of the WHL in the juniors, and was drafted in the 3rd round in 2009. While he wears the same jersey number as one-time Sabre Miroslav Satan, this #81 is quite a different proposition for opponents, who will have to keep their heads up and on a swivel.
Paul Szczechura (#58) - Fondly nicknamed 'Chewy' at the Amerks, Szczechura is actually not a rookie, having played two seasons for the Lightning before the Amerks picked him up in the AHL. The undrafted center does a little bit of everything, almost a Matt Ellis clone as far as the Sabres are concerned. He marked his Sabres debut with two assists, setting up Luke Adam for both, and is a +2 in two games.