(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.)
Coming up through the ranks who did you look up to and why? -- Melissa Fowler from Enterprise, Alabama Teppo Numminen: There were a couple defensemen from my hometown that I looked up to as a child. Then I saw a couple of tapes of Bobby Orr. I thought Orr was an unbelievable player who changed the way defensemen played the game.
Which player on the Sabres do you feel is the most underrated? -- Kitty Hull from Buffalo, New York TN: Toni Lydman and Henrik Tallinder
Was winning a Silver Medal even more special that you got to not only share it with your Olympic team but also a fellow Sabre? -- Rachael Giargiano from Watertown, New York TN: It's always more special if you win with your friends, people you are close to and people who you see every day. It was a great trip for us, and a really exciting time.
Did you and Toni Lydman know each other before you became teammates on the Sabres? -- Will Jones from Buffalo, New York TN: Not really. We really didn't get to know each other until after we both came to Buffalo.
I'm wondering if you miss the Winnipeg Jets at all? Do you think they should reconsider a team in the city of Winnipeg? -- Ryan B. from Attica, New York TN: I miss it because I had a great time there. I really enjoyed the city and it's a great hockey town. When I was there, people really supported us. But I don't know if they will ever put a team back in Winnipeg. It might be considered too small a market to support an NHL team. It's really sad, but I think that might be the reality of the situation.
This is your first season in the Eastern Conference. How is playing in the East different from playing in the Western Conference, where you've spent the majority of your career? -- Ryan Burgess from Buffalo, New York TN: The travel structure is probably the biggest difference. This season, we had like one or two trips that were a weeklong. Out west, you're home a week and then on the road for a week. That goes on the entire season and is by far the biggest difference.
As a veteran player, how greatly has rule changes affected the way you have played so far this season? -- Bailey Baron from Cheektowaga, New York TN: It's just little things that you've had to get used to. Like when you go to the corners, you can't play the man any longer. You have to be very careful not to get behind the attacking forward, and stay between your man and the net. I think it was mainly a timing thing and it took a while to get used to it.
What motivated you to sign with Buffalo? Do you think that it has the potential to be a Cup contender? -- Rudy Alba from Charlottesville, Virginia TN: I talked to almost everyone in the organization before I signed, so I got a lot of good information for making the decision. Basically, I found out what kind of team they had and it sounded like a good mix. I also talked to Danny Briere, who I was friends with before coming to Buffalo, and he said very good things about the team, organization and city. He said they had a good team already but could use a couple more defensemen. It all sounded good so I said, “why not?”
I think we're a Cup contender. We've been playing really well the entire season and we know we can beat anybody, any day. Hopefully, we can put a good streak together during the playoffs.
How did it feel when you finally score your first goal as a Sabre? -- Chris B. from Buffalo, New York TN: It was a long time coming. Missing last season due to the lockout, I knew there were going to be obstacles coming back and that it was going to take time to get my game back to the level where I wanted it to be. I guess that was the last piece to put together and it is always nice to score. [Laughs] Hopefully, people will stop talking about it.