Marc-Andre Gragnani: 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 began with Luke Adam and will conclude in a month with Mike Weber. Thanks to Japers Rink and Mile High Hockey for the inspiration.

Step right up Marc-Andre Gragnani.


Marc-Andre Gragnani

#17 / Defenseman / Buffalo Sabres

6-2

201

Mar 11, 1987

Contract Situation: $500,000 salary and $51,000 cap hit. Restricted free agent-to-be

2010 Grade: Unavailable



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

NHL Regular Season

NHL Postseason

AHL Regular Season

9

7

63

1

1

12

2

6

48

3

7

60

0

0

22

2

4

51

0

1

4

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

11

9

90

9.1

11.1

13.3


Lowdown: What a month for Marc-Andre Gragnani. Brought aboard from the Portland Pirates for his second stint of this season, the 24-year-old stood out with some timely plays and conclusively ended up as Buffalo's leader in playoff scoring. Recipient of the Eddie Shore Award as the American Hockey League's cream of the crop on defense, Gragnani plugged the gap left by the ailing Andrej Sekera and kept himself undaunted. We weren't expecting him to spill his guts into a garbage bin in light of the adrenaline, but he had ice flowing through his veins and that is a prodigious feat for postseason hockey. Take a bow.

Key Stat: Clocked almost 22 minutes of ice time on average in the seven-game series with the Philadelphia Flyers – only Chris Butler and Tyler Myers played more. Seeing enough to be convinced, Lindy Ruff allowed Gragnani to play his game to the best of his ability and he adjusted to the scenario freely.

Did You Know? He sacrificed his body in front of shots courageously, as Mike Weber withstood the most pucks in the playoffs and Gragnani absorbed the next highest amount. You always run a risk with an offensive defenseman because there's no telling if he'll be a liability behind his own blue line. Only time will tell if Gragnani maintains a hold on the defensive zone as discreetly as his offensive propensity, but the early signs are aces.

Moment Of Fame: The first tally of his National Hockey League career was arguably the most valuable goal of the campaign. With Carolina in dire need of a win, Gragnani all but closed the curtain on their playoff dreams after his overtime winner. An absolutely peculiar goal it was, as two deflections changed its route and it would have sailed wide if it hadn't glanced off a couple of sticks.

Moment Of Shame: We'll get back to you on this one, as it could be interpreted as unjust to outline his call-ups with negativity.

Thumbs Up: In his first game with the Buffalo Sabres during the late promotion, Gragnani spoiled a two-on-one for the New York Rangers which, naturally, assisted Tim Connolly's goal seconds afterward. Chances were exchanged, but the netminders were flawless and that would be the match's one tally. Against Carolina and New York, two clubs chasing the Buffalo Sabres for a postseason spot, the Quebec native constructed voluminous contributions. Has an instinctive feel for the game and bides his time rather than rushing a pass or shot. Keeps his head up to scout the ice and exemplifies a scoring defenseman. Makes the powerplay click as the quarterback and meshed amiably with Myers on the point. Re-wrote Buffalo's record books already, presenting the most helpers in a single series among rookie rearguards and was one shy of the club record occupied by Gilbert Perrault, Dale Hawerchuk, and Miroslav Satan.

Thumbs Down: The jury is still out on his defensive coverage, as Gragnani doesn't impose his will as much as he does in an offensive capacity. Should slam forwards into the boards because it will send a message and wear their bodies down, not to mention mark his territory. Might struggle to tie up the league's power forwards who have a low center of gravity and play like bulls in the crease.

Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Marc-Andre Gragnani 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: Share with us your thoughts on a suitable contract for Gragnani in the off-season. Assuming he's with the Buffalo Sabres in October, who leaves to make way for him? Can he a Calder Trophy candidate next season? What percentage of his points will come on the powerplay?

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