A Closer Look At The New Sabres: Christian Ehrhoff

From the moment they were signed or traded for, we've been analyzing the newest Sabres acquisitions on a surface level. Christian Ehrhoff is an offensive defensemen, Robyn Regehr, defensive, and Ville Leino's a who-knows-what. Well since we have some extra time on our hands this summer, let's take a slightly more in-depth look at the newest Sabre players, starting today with Christian Ehrhoff.

To start things off, we'll point out that Ehrhoff is definitely capable of top-line minutes, averaging 23:59 last year in Vancouver, and will definitely play on the power play, as he averaged 3:33 per game there as well. Many of you want to see a Myers-Ehrhoff pairing, and with TOI like that it could very well happen, but we should point out that Ehrhoff did play with excellent players last season, ending up with the second-highest quality of teammates for Vancouver while playing against middling competition. That's not to say he can't be on a #1 pairing, just that he wasn't asked to shut down the best last season. Now let's get to some stats:

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2010 - Christian Ehrhoff 79 14 36 50 19 52 6 0 3 209 6.7

As you can see, Ehrhoff can definitely pile up the numbers offensively, and has had at least 42 points in each of his last three full seasons. But take another look at that shot total - 209! That's good for fifth in the NHL among defensemen and would have been way above Jordan Leopold's defense-leading 134 shots last season for Buffalo. This guy is going to fire the puck at the net whenever he gets a chance - Vanek, Gaustad, you can start writing your thank you cards now.

He's not all offense, however, as Ehrhoff did manage a bit of time on the PK - 2:08 per game, to be exact. He's still an improving defender, and while he had the second highest goals against/60 on Vancouver he was right in line with all their other d-men while logging the most minutes on the team. As far as hits go, the new #10 won't lay out a ton of lumber, but he isn't afraid to block shots, ending up with over 100 last year, and he's durable, having played in at least 77 games each of the past five years.

Now, let's talk playoffs. The Sabres have struggled the past few postseasons and have seen some key scorers disappear for long stretches - that's no secret. Luckily for Sabres fans, Ehrhoff raises his game in the post season, going from a career regular season mark of .45 points per game all the way up to a monstrous .46 points per game in the playoffs. Okay, so it's not a huge jump, but if you ignore his -13 this postseason (and I'm choosing to, as he's been nowhere near that bad in previous playoff runs) then you get a guy who keeps producing in the playoffs at a consistent rate.

So there's Christian Ehrhoff in a nutshell, but be sure to point out any worthy stats I forgot to highlight in the comments.

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