2013-14 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Henrik Tallinder
The Buffalo Sabres 2013-14 season was one of the worst in franchise history, and now it's time to take a look at who made it all possible. We're grading everybody who played at least 20(ish) games for the Sabres this year, from Conacher to Weber.
Contract: UFA (made $3.5 million this season)
Report Card Grade in 2013: N/A
Introduction: Henrik Tallinder returned to Buffalo this season in a safe trade for a lowly ECHL prospect. Tallinder would be a veteran presence for a defensive unit featuring many young blue-liners, and some hoped that he would help Tyler Myers return to the level he played at when he was Tallinder's partner his rookie season.
Tallinder played more games this season than he had since his first season in New Jersey, three years ago.
Thumbs Up: Tallinder was fourth among defensemen in ice time this season. He was one of the best Sabres in zone starts this season against average quality of competition. That's about the best you can say about Tallinder, since there isn't a stat that measures leadership.
Thumbs Down: Tallinder was middle of the pack when it comes to Fenwick and Corsi and a lowly -21. He also took many penalties due to being out of position, as he served 14 more penalties than he drew. For the first time since before he went to New Jersey his relative Corsi was negative, and that is up against some of the other poor possession players on the Sabres this season. His eight points in 64 games ins't awful since he's never been much of an offensive defenseman but he did have one fewer point than Mike Weber, who played only four more games.
Myers did turn around a bit this season, but it wasn't because of Tallinder. The pair didn't frequently play together in 2014.
In his last year in New Jersey Tallinder seved mostly as a seventh defenseman, and he was able to get back on track some this year with the lowly Sabres. However, he frequently looked out of place and at 35 age isn't exactly on Tallinder's side. He said late in the season he hopes to continue to play in the NHL, but it will be interesting to see if the Sabres or any other team is interested in bringing him in for a season.
Memorable Moment: Although the game was all but lost, Tallinder shot a puck from the boards that seemed to have eyes of it's own, beating Jhonas Hiller.
Voting: We're grading on a curve this year, adjusting for the Sabres organizational ineptitude. So, using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with A representing a great season (for the Sabres) C an average season, and F a very poor season (again, for the worst team in the league) grade Henrik Tallinder on his performance this year.
Based on his play this season, how would you grade Henrik Tallinder?