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Joe Finley Is Big & He’s Making The Sabres’ D Bigger

11/30/11
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Photo credit: Keith Wozniak, Let's Go Amerks!

The Sabres are going through the injury wringer right now, and it’s making their defense bigger and meaner. The latest addition to the blueline is Joe Finley, a Capitals 1st round washout and recent two-way contract signee with the Sabres.

Joe Finley is a UND alum and former first round pick of the Washington Capitals. Freak injuries kept him from every making his mark on a deep Hershey Bears team after he finished school, so he was just kind of forgotten about. After wandering the ECHL, he accepted a camp try-out from the Sabres and found himself signed to an AHL contract to play for Ron Rolston’s Amerks. He started the season as a scratch but played his way into the lineup and eventually onto the top pair with NHL castoff, and owner of the most Gaelic name in hockey, Shaone Morrisonn. He’s known for his stay-at-home defense, big hits, and long reach.

He’s also a mind-boggling 6’8″ and 260lbs.

From Keith Wozniak of Let’s Go Amerks! -

At 6’8″ tall Finley plays a strong defensive game, is very dependable, rarely gets caught out of position and is successful at keeping the front of the net cleared. Because of his size he has a very long reach and on top of that is one of the best skaters on the team. He’s a shut down defenseman whose game has excelled since being paired with Shaone Morrisonn.

Read the rest of “Big Joe Finley, Strong On Defense, Can Also Throw Lawnmowers And Attacks Mascots” at Let’s Go Amerks!

Even with Tyler Myers (6’8″, 227lbs) and Mike Weber (6’2″, 211lbs) out with injuries, the Sabres blueline is getting bigger and meaner. Finley is joining bulldozer veteran Robyn Regehr (6’3″, 225lbs) and exciting prospect Brayden McNabb (6’4″, 204lbs), and all three will kill a man just to get the puck out of the zone. Robyn Regehr’s fearsome hitting has been popular on YouTube for years. Brayden McNabb’s first two NHL games have produced hits that elicited gasps from the home crowd. Exhibits A and B, presented to the jury (Ignore Craig McLaughlin in the first video. Actually, put it on mute. Seriously, for your own sake).

(Exhibit B will be added once it’s on the YouTube. They just tonight finished cleaning all of Frans Nielsen off of the ice.)

Now it’s Finley’s turn to bring the pain. More importantly, it’s his turn to help balance the defense corps. With Regehr, McNabb, and Finley all dressing tomorrow, the team finally has a 50/50 mix of stay-at-home defenders and flash puck-movers. Whether Lindy Ruff, who hasn’t had much options on the balance front yet this season, utilizes this mix versus the Detroit Red Wings (Fri, 12/2, First Niagara Center, 7:30PM) is up to him and him alone.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Brendan permalink
    12/01/11 9:08 AM

    I watched him in Rochester the night of Nov 25th (The night the Sabres got spanked by Columbus? Which was followed by the night the Sabres spanked the Caps). He is a beast and moves decently well. Definitely a physical player, but doubt he’ll contribute much offensively. Solid call up. McNabb was in Roch-cha-cha that night too. Between the two of them, it was a physical lineup. Now the Rochester Sabres will have the benefit of their size and hitting, but hopefully the game will be cleaner than how the game in Rochester was.

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