Paul Gaustad: 2010-2011 Report Card

It's time to put the finishing touches on the 2010-2011 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 Luke Adam and conclude in a month with Mike Weber. Thanks to Japers Rink and Mile High Hockey for the inspiration.

Step right up Paul Gaustad.


Paul Gaustad

#28 / Center / Buffalo Sabres

6-5

212

Feb 03, 1982

Contract Situation: $2.5 million salary and $2.3 million cap hit. One year left on current deal.

2010 Grade: C



2011 Statistics GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT

Regular Season

Postseason

81

7

12

0

19

2

31

2

7

-6

101

13

1

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

117

14

10.3

0


Lowdown: Of all the animals Paul Gaustad could be tagged as, a goose doesn't resonate loudly to the ears. The 6-4, 224 pound forward intervenes with jolting hits, swings away in fights, back-checks, and is a master in the face-off circle. Egotistical players are damaging to the dressing room and a club's teamwork, but Gaustad is a person who does his multiple jobs respectfully without a care in the world for glamor. Heralded as a character guy by those closest to him, Gaustad finishes battles that others start and absorbs bullets for teammates. Added to the United States' roster for the World Championships, he'll always stick to the facets he knows best. That is no goose. A moose is more like it.

Key Stat: Stood in for almost 2,000 face-offs, winning close to 60 percent of them. Overall, just about 25 percent of the total draws were conducted by Gaustad this season, what with everyone else losing the majority of theirs. Is that first line center on the way yet?

Did You Know? Lady luck's been rude to the 29-year-old in the playoffs, as he's goalless in 38 fixtures with the Buffalo Sabres. Arranging a sit down with Rob Niedermayer could help his cause, but the veteran will break the bad news to Gaustad that John Erskine found the back of the net sooner than him.

Moment Of Fame: Obliging Scott Hartnell's request for a scrap in January and once in the postseason for good measure. Seen as the winner in both cases, but Hartnell is filing the necessary paperwork for a do-over.

Moment Of Shame: Missed an empty net in Game Four that could have ended the match faster and put him on the board in the playoffs. While that squandered chance was okay because Buffalo won, Gaustad's miscue in Game Six proved costly. With Brian Boucher on his back, the center had the easiest of finishes to produce and hit the side of the post. Either this isn't meant to be or he's cursed by a higher power.

Thumbs Up: Let's not beat around the bush here; Gaustad is the owner, manager, director, and employee of Buffalo's face-off section. Delivered 128 hits and returns to the defensive end to assist in that regard. Evened his career-high of 12 goals, which he accumulated for the third consecutive year. Fought when the mood struck him, or if Hartnell was in the vicinity.

Thumbs Down: Has no particular pace to speak of and will not win foot races. Was -6 in the playoffs, indicative of his struggles when the going gets tough in April. The stats suggest that he is limited offensively, which he is, but that's not what he was drafted and brought up for.

Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Paul Gaustad 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.

Topics Of Discussion: Does Gaustad's playoff scoring drought frustrate you? Is he a typical role player or do you want to see him supply more? Should he get more powerplay chances, as he has the size to be an intimidating net presence? Can he possibly score 20 goals in the future?

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