Tag Archives: intern

Mike Weber Cuts the Mustard

By BRIAN KOPERSKI (bwkoperski@gmail.com) (WECK 1230) – When you think about who is the top defenseman for the Buffalo Sabres, chances are you think of Tyler Myers. Perhaps, you would consider Jordan Leopold. Or maybe even Steve Montador or Andrej Sekera would cross your mind. If you were to stop there, however, you would be forgetting about up and coming 23-year-old, Mike Weber, who is very quietly putting together a very solid campaign since replacing captain Craig Rivet in the lineup.

The fact that you may have overlooked Weber’s play could be one of several reasons. He doesn’t flash insane offensive potential like Myers. He doesn’t fly through the neutral zone carrying the puck like Sekera. He doesn’t run the power play like Leopold. What the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native does do is play a steady defensive game in his own zone, while minimizing turnovers and putting opponents’ faces into the glass.

Despite only having played in 32 of the team’s 53 games, Weber leads all Sabres’ defensemen with 80 hits on the season. He also ranks 2nd among Sabres’ defensemen with 57 blocked shots. As previously mentioned, he will never be an offensive force, and his current 9 points project to 23 over a full season. Put in perspective, however, he has as many goals (3) as forwards Mike Grier and Rob Niedermayer combined, in 65 less games. He also helped spark the Sabres’ huge comeback against the Tampa Bay Lightning this past Tuesday. With four minutes left in the 2nd period trailing 3 to 1, Weber aggressively skated down the right boards towards the goal line and flung a backhand tape-to-tape pass to Thomas Vanek who was camped on the far post. Vanek ripped the puck into the vacant near side net as Lightning’ goalie Dwayne Roloson flopped and just like that, the momentum had shifted.

His most impressive statistic would undoubtedly be his plus/minus rating of plus-12, which leads the entire team. Even more impressive is his plus-21 rating over his 55 game NHL career. Sure, many hockey pundits will frequently debate the true value of the plus/minus statistic, but Weber’s incredible rating surely isn’t something that can just be ignored.

Away from the scoresheet, Weber’s physical play has stood out on several occasions. In the last two contests against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he has challenged and mixed it up with superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. How often do you see essentially a rookie defenseman get in the face of the some of the NHL’s premier forwards? Yeah…not too often.

Weber isn’t exactly Cody McCormick as far as fighting is concerned, but he has dropped the gloves twice this season, and twice did he find himself against a grizzled heavyweight. Now, he didn’t fare too well against either George Parros or Ryan Clowe, but the fact that he was willing to scrap against talented such veteran fighters shows his character and toughness. Oh, and I suppose getting up from this would also indicate he is fairly tough.

After two brief stints with Buffalo in 2007-08, and 2008-09, and then a full 2009-10 season back down in Portland, I am confident in saying that Weber is here to stay for good. At 23, he still has plenty of room to grow as a player and mature mentally. If he continues to improve, I can easily see him becoming a favorite of the blue-collar Western New York community. I mean, what Sabres fan doesn’t love a 6’2”, 211 lb. American-born defenseman who loves to punch faces and throw thunderous hits?

Third Pick’s A Charm

By BRIAN KOPERSKI (bwkoperski@gmail.com) (WECK 1230) – The Buffalo Bills have a little more than three months until they will be on the clock in the 2011 NFL Draft. That leaves us fans plenty of time to analyze, debate, and predict which player they should choose with that third overall selection in the first round.… Continue Reading

Sid is Superman

BY Nate Foley, intern (email: nefoley17@gmail.com) (WECK 1230) The Pittsburgh Penguins currently sit atop the NHL, and are in the midst of an 11-game winning streak. There is one reason the Pens are the hottest team in the league right now and it wears No. 87 on its back. Sidney Crosby is the best hockey… Continue Reading

Not Werth It

By BRIAN KOPERSKI (bwkoperski@gmail.com) (WECK 1230) — The ever-rising monetary landscape of player contracts in Major League Baseball was brilliantly showcased over this past weekend. Just as much as baseball is a game that America loves, it is a business that can be very annoying to both the casual and diehard fan. More evidence of… Continue Reading

Johnson’s numbers on pace for Bills record book

By BRIAN KOPERSKI, WECK intern (bwkoperski@gmail.com) (WECK 1230) — Through nine weeks of the 2010 NFL season, there have been few bright spots on the Buffalo Bills roster. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s surprising play has garnered most of the positive attention amongst fans and the media, but a big reason for his success has been the breakout… Continue Reading

Merriman move an okay risk

By MICHAEL WZONTEK, WECK intern (WECK 1230) — The Buffalo Bills are trying to improve — you have to give them that — and Shawne Merriman is getting his second chance. By claiming former San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman off of waivers in an effort to help improve arguably the team’s weakest position, Buddy… Continue Reading