(The following questions were submitted by fans through Sabres.com and the Weekly Report, a weekly recap that is delivered to Sabres Insider's email.)
Did you find it easy or difficult to comeback after your 24-game absence? -- Allison Holbig from Rochester, NY Daniel Briere – "What helped me was the fact that everyone else was on a break for the Olympics as well. Even though I was off for two months, the entire league was off for 16 days. Everybody was looking to get their timing back when we got back from that break, so I think that helped me."
What go on in your head right before a game and do you ever get nervous? -- Sarah K from North Tonawanda, NY DB -- "I'm usually thinking about the game, mostly the goaltender and the defense that I'm going to face. That's what I study. Yes, I still do get nervous, but not to the point where there is too much pressure and I can't perform. I think a little bit of nervousness is good to get you going."
I really respect the way you play, you go all out on every shift and I really look up to a player like you. I'm only 16 and I play High School hockey. When I am in a game, I try to do the same things you do, by going all out. But my question is, how hard or easy is it to lose confidence and how do you regain the confidence? When I play hockey I do go all out every shift and play hard, but I play too tentative because I lost all my confidence. I can't seem to regain it because I just don't want to make a bad play. -- Keith Piatek from Buffalo, NY DB -- "Confidence is a major part of this game, and sometimes when you lose confidence, it can be a devastating thing to some players. I was subject to that a lot earlier in my career and I had to learn how to keep an even keel. You just can't get too high when things are going well or too low when the game isn't working out the way you wanted it to. I think maturity and experience has a lot to do with dealing with slumps."
What things do you believe the Sabres need work on heading into the playoffs? -- Paul O'Toole from West Seneca, NY DB -- "We need to get rid of the bad habits that we picked up when we started playing well and scoring a lot of goals. We need to come back to working harder and skating more than the other teams. That had been our strength all year and I think we got away from it a little bit lately. That's what we will need to do to win during the playoffs."
Did you always want to play hockey for a living, or did you ever consider another career? You obviously have many years of hockey ahead of you, but when your hockey playing days are over what would you like to do? -- Petra Land from Webster, NY DB -- "Yes, playing in the NHL has always been my dream since I was six, seven or eight years old and was watching hockey on television. It's always been the one thing I wanted to do. As for after my career, I haven't really decided yet. Hopefully, it will be something related to hockey. It's my life and I love it more than anything."
Who would be your first pick in a Fantasy Hockey Draft? -- Alex Snow from Buffalo, NY DB -- "Earlier in the year, I would have probably picked Peter Forsberg (Philadelphia). Right now, I think that Jaromir Jagr (New York) is head and shoulders above everybody else. If it was for the future, I would definitely have to take a long look at Alex Ovechkin (Washington)."
Who is your roommate on the road and how is a roommate chosen? -- Eric Halsten from Greensboro, NC DB -- "My roommate is Rory Fitzpatrick. Sometimes the coaching staff decides the roommates. Rory and I have roomed together for a little while and we feel comfortable together."
Who is the best player in the NHL or on the Sabres that nobody knows about? -- Dave Cady from Las Vegas, NV DB -- "If you asked me before the season, I would say Brian Gionta (New Jersey), but I think it's pretty clear now that he is part of that elite group in the NHL. Mike Fisher (Ottawa) is close to being the toughest player to play against, who is not known as a superstar."
What's the best thing about being a professional hockey player? What's the worst? -- Jackie Tollar from South Buffalo, NY DB -- "There is no worst part. The best thing is that I'm living my dream everyday."