Montador Has A Veritable Cornucopia Of Partners To Play With
In previous Sabres preview posts, I came up with who I thought Myers partner should be and what I think should happen to the Butler/Rivet pairing. Today, I’m going to take a stab at who will play with Steve Montador on the third pairing.
In my mind, the top pair is Morrisonn-Myers and pair 2A is Leopold-Rivet. But what of 2B, Montador’s pair? By my count, he’s got four different partners to choose from. Let’s go down the list.
Gragnani is a silky smooth skater with loads of offensive upside, but he suffered a knee injury on Friday during the final day of rookie camp that will have him missing 4-6 weeks. Next!
Weber plays a similar game to Montador, but with better skating and a slightly less-developed point shot. The two would be a physically tough pair to play against, but wouldn’t offer much in the way of offense. I’d be just fine with Weber earning his place on the Sabres and getting assigned Montador as his partner.
Does anyone still remember how ridiculously good Sekera looked during the playoffs. He was actually making defensive plays! He was skating with authority! He scored a goal! Sabres fans had high hopes that Sekera would return from the Olympics charged up and finish the season on a high note. Instead, he rotated the sixth defensive spot with Butler – not exactly a star in the making. As Montador’s partner, the pair would be able to join the rush with ease but there’d be too many defensive breakdowns (blame Montador’s skate blades more than the player himself). I wouldn’t be too enthusiastic about seeing this pair on a regular basis.
There is a chance that Butler and Rivet stay together. I don’t think it’s going to happen, as a Leopold/Rivet pairing makes too much sense. A Butler-Montador pairing would also make sense, especially if Butler looks reborn in camp and the preseason. It would allow Montador to play the part of the fourth man on the rush while leaving Butler behind to protect the zone. This is another pairing I’d like to see, but only if Butler looks like the sophomore slump was exactly that.
I guess I’m just not a Sekera fan, in the end. Or at least, not a fan of his playing with Montador. I don’t see an opening for him on this squad, as Paetsch was a much better utility player than Sekera is. I think Weber and Butler rounding out the roster and rotating games based on the opposition’s roster make-up would work for me. So there we have it folks – my three pairings: Morrisonn-Myers, Leopold-Rivet, Butler/Weber-Montador, with Weber/Butler as the 7th defenseman.