2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Mike Weber

BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 20: Mike Weber #6 of the Buffalo Sabres upends Nikolay Zherdev #93 of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HSBC Arena at HSBC Arena on April 20, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. Weber was called for a penalty on the play. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

With the 2011-12 Buffalo Sabres ending in disappointment and after a few weeks for us to gather our thoughts, it's time for us to issue our report cards on the season. Over the next few weeks, we'll grade every player that wore a Buffalo Sabres uniform in 2011 and 2012, from Luke Adam to Mike Weber.

2011 - Mike Weber 51 1 4 5 -19 64 0 0 0 0 51 1.96

Introduction: Expectations were high for Mike Weber after his solid 2010-11 campaign. A 17 point (4G, 13 A) output in 58 games was more than many expected, and his 99 blocked shots and 158 hits were third and first on the team, respectively. After signing a 2 year, $1.9 million contract last summer, it was thought that we kept a solid defensive defenseman on our blue line.

Flashing forward to this past season, Weber struggled mightily, only posting 5 points while being relegated to the press box multiple times throughout the season. With players such as Alexander Sulzer and Brayden McNabb showing improvement over the season, it is hard to say where Weber will be in 2012-13. He still has a year on his deal, but his ability to crack the Sabres top six blueliners for next season is up in the air.

Key Stat: Mike Weber had a plus/minus decrease of -32 (+13 in 10/11 to -19 in 11/12) over the last two seasons. While some would point to this stat to show his poor season, his Relative Corsi decreased by 50% (-6.7 to -3.1) while his Corsi Rel. Quality of Competition stayed relatively the same (0.278 to 0.258) over those two seasons. In other words, I would say that 10/11 was a season where the other players Weber played with provided for his +13 since his Relative Corsi was quite negative. For Weber to be more consistent on the ice, he would need to continue his physical play while continuing to decrease his Relative Corsi.

Thumbs Up: Weber was in the top 4 on the Sabres in blocked shots (123, 3rd) , hits (90, 4th) and fighting majors (6, 2nd) this past season. Behind Regehr, he is our toughest defenseman and the only other D-man who would fit the physical role on our blueline. Is this skill set important enough for him to be dressed on a nightly basis?

Thumbs Down: Using Player Usage Charts, Weber would be deemed to have played "Shut-Down" minutes due to his placement on the chart. This is important, but players in this area should have higher QoC then Weber had this past season in order for them to be worthwhile on their team. For a player like Weber, he needs to be trusted to play tougher minutes on this team since he does not have the offensive upside of players such as Christian Ehrhoff, Jordan Leopold, or Tyler Myers.

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

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