Nathan Gerbe: 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 Nathan Gerbe.


Nathan Gerbe

#42 / Center / Buffalo Sabres

5-5

178

Jul 24, 1987

Contract Situation: $850,000 cap hit, pending restricted free agent.

2010 Grade: B



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

Regular Season

Postseason

64

7

16

2

15

0

31

2

11

-1

34

18

2

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

171

19

9.4

10.5


Lowdown: Get over his height, Nathan Gerbe belongs in the National Hockey League. Capable of lining up on the left or right wing, the 23-year-old finally got his chance to impress the Buffalo Sabres and Lindy Ruff. On the back of a good showing in a limited capacity last year, where he weighed in with numerous impassioned performances, Gerbe looked ready for more first team action. Tyler Ennis was the club's rookie who was closest to a Calder Trophy nomination, but Gerbe received the approval of supporters because of his tenacity and judgment. The similarities with a certain Martin St. Louis are striking.

Key Stat: After an unflattering start, Gerbe alerted the naysayers of his talent. Another product of the Portland Pirates system, he was composed on the puck and competent in the skirmishes alongside larger forwards. With seven points as December was wiped off the calendar year, Gerbe made the most of the ensuing months and more than quadrupled his production. There were high hopes for this youngster, and this year showed why.

Did You Know? He's come into the league with a lot of support and awards to back him up. In 2008 alone, he was a member of the NCAA and Hockey East Association's All-Tournament Teams, an All-Star, an All-American, and a tournament MVP in the HEA and the NCAA's Frozen Four Tournament. Named the AHL's rookie of the year shortly later and joined the All-Rookie Team. That is quite the collection. Note: Luke Adam was this season's best rookie in the AHL, becoming the third straight Buffalo Sabres prospect to claim the honor, after Gerbe and Ennis.

Moment Of Fame: Smiled at Dan Carcillo when the Philadelphia agitator patted him on the head, knowing that a retaliation wasn't the right play because Buffalo trailed 3-2. Decided to hurt the opposition on the scoreboard, spinning around and backhanding a shot top corner to tie up the match. Thomas Vanek sealed it in overtime to clinch a playoff spot, but Gerbe's two goals set the sequence up.

Moment Of Shame: Given his marching orders in the third period of Game Seven, as the officials handed a misconduct to Gerbe and Carcillo. Humiliated by the one-sided scoreline, it was a devastating finish to a remarkable season and players were upset with themselves for being beaten handily. They shouldn't get too down on themselves; the Philadelphia Flyers got dragged through the mud by Boston in the second round.

Thumbs Up: His quickness helps him get out of tricky situations such as huddles along the boards, one-on-one coverage from a defenseman, and so forth. Incredibly strong; how else can you explain his penchant to gut it out in the corners? Has a fantastic read on the game and how it unfolds, while competing with an edgy sandpaper element to set the opposition off. Infuriates others with his tactics; however, he refuses to cross the line and will not fall into suspensions. A haul of 16 goals and 15 helpers leads one to believe that he can be a playmaker or a shooter; not the easiest of balances. Gerbe has been regarded as an outstanding prospect since his draft year and now that he's settled in, he should deliver on his promise further.

Thumbs Down: At full fitness, Gerbe is a coach's dream because of his work-ethic and fearless mindset. Injuries are a scare for all athletes and although he's remained healthy for the most part, one blindsided check or hit from behind, and it could be lights out. While defensively he still needs work, his athleticism could saddle him onto the penalty kill slowly and present the coaches with possibly a new option.

Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Nathan Gerbe 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: What sort of terms do you think Nathan Gerbe should have on his newest contract? Is he a first or second line forward, or more of a third/fourth line fit? Will injuries haunt him because of his willingness to compete in the dirty areas? Statistically, how will he do next season?

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