LEADING FROM THE BACK END:Tyler Myers
|Photo: Bill Wippert |
’ sophomore season saw him finish with 10 goals and 27 assists for 37 points to lead all Sabres defensemen in scoring. His 10 goals ranked second among Buffalo blue-liners behind Jordan Leopold
’s career-high 13. In fact, that pair combined to become the first duo of Sabres defensemen to each notch double-digits in goals in the same season since Phil Housley (21) and Doug Bodger (12) did it during the 1989-90 season. Myers, who scored 11 goals as a rookie in 2009-10, became the first Sabres defenseman to reach double-digit goals in consecutive seasons since Housley did it in eight straight campaigns (1983-84 to 1989-90). In his first two NHL season, Myers has registered 21-64-85 and 72 PIM in 162 games.WINNING PEDIGREE:
Half of the 10 goals scored by Myers this season turned out to be game-winners, tying him with leading-scorer Thomas Vanek
(32 total goals) for tops on the team. Myers' five game-winning goals also ranked second among all NHL defensemen this season behind Atlanta’s Dustin Byfuglien. Myers, who scored twice in overtime this season, became the first Sabres defenseman to collect five game-winning goals in a season since Brian Campbell had five in 2005-06. Nearly all of Myers’ goals this season came at important times, as nine of his 10 goals were scored when the Sabres either trailed by one, led by one, or were tied.
CLIMBING BACK TO EVEN:
|Getty Images |
Myers and the Sabres got off to a slow start to the 2010-11 campaign, with Myers falling to a season-low -12 rating as late as Jan. 4. He was able to battle his way back to an even rating by season’s end, however, by finishing plus or even in 33 of the last 44 games and in 49 of his last 67. He did so while playing top-end minutes, as Myers finished the season ranked second on the Sabres in average time on ice at 22:27 per game. Included in that ice time was an average of 16:57 at even strength. STEPPING UP IN THE SPRING:
Myers has helped lead the Sabres to a playoff berth in each of his first two seasons. In the team’s seven-game loss to Philadelphia in this year’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, he ranked second on the team in scoring with six points on a goal and five assists. All of those points came in the final three games of the series, including a three-assist performance in Game 6 and a one-goal, one-assist night in Game 7. Myers also picked up his physical play in the postseason, ranking second on the team with 20 hits in the series, which more than doubled his per-game average for hits from the regular season. After averaging 1.3 hits per game in the regular season, Myers registered 2.9 hits per game in the Philadelphia series and racked up 16 PIM.
BY THE NUMBERS...
|Photo: Bill Wippert |
Myers played his 100th career NHL game on Nov. 13 against Washington. In his first 100 games in the league, the defenseman registered 15-40-55.80
Myers appeared in 80 of 82 games during the regular season, missing a pair of games for the first time in his two full seasons in the NHL. The durable defenseman was sidelined with the flu for back-to-back games in Calgary (Dec. 27) and Edmonton (Dec. 28), but appeared in all the rest of Buffalo’s games, including all seven postseason contests.6
For the second straight year, Myers finished the regular season with six multi-point games. He recorded a season-high three points on two occasions, the first of which came on Nov. 10 at New Jersey when he notched a goal and two assists. He then collected three assists, which tied his career-high, in a March 19 win over Atlanta. He would later pick up three assists in a playoff game vs. Philadelphia on Apr. 24.2
Myers shared the team-lead with Thomas Vanek
and Drew Stafford
by scoring two overtime goals during the season (see videos below). His first came in a November win over Vancouver when he intercepted a pass in the slot and fired a shot past Canucks goalie Cory Schneider. His second came in February at Florida off an end-to-end rush in the closing seconds of OT when he blasted a slap shot past Panthers netminder Tomas Vokoun.
Here's a look at two of Myers' signature goals from the 2010-11 campaign, both of which came in overtime: His interception and shot to beat Vancouver in OT and his last second blast to defeat Florida in extra time: