The Sabres Observer
by @DaveDavisHockey on 02/05/13 at 03:52 PM ET
With apologies to Jhonas Enroth, I don't think there's a man with more of an opportunity in tonight's Sabres - Senators game than defenseman Adam Pardy.
After being waived at the start of the season, injuries and overall poor defensive play by Buffalo necessitated recalling the guy who has been hovering around ninth on the depth chart. But there's a little more to this story.
Tyler Myers has been a train wreck, and Lindy Ruff is desperately trying to find a partner for the former Calder winner to help get his game back. Based on what was seen at practice this morning, it appears as though Myers & Pardy will be one of Ruff's defensive pairings tonight.
So, instead of just putting him out there with another journeyman and playing third-pair minutes, the "throw-in" from the Derek Roy-Steve Ott trade has been placed in a prime position. For as long as this duo stays together, Pardy is actually playing for two: himself, and his physically gifted but mentally fragile partner in whom so many hopes of this franchise have been placed since he took the league by storm in 2009-10. Pardy's short-term future with the Sabres rests not only on how well he performs tonight, but also on how well Myers plays.
Just imagine if Pardy could do what Jordan Leopold, Robyn Regehr, and just about every other defenseman wearing a Sabres jersey for the past two years couldn't - develop some on-ice chemistry with Myers and help get the 6'8" 23-year-old back on track.
As crazy as it may seem, this new job as a top-four defenseman is already Pardy's to lose. The way I see it, those two are in the lineup for as long as they are playing well together. Stable defensemen who cut down opposition scoring chances are just too hard to come by for this team right now.
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About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]