Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

February 2, 2010

SABRES: Myers earns monthly honor

Tyler Myers insists he’s not doing anything different — not looking to shoot more, not trying to jump into the offensive zone any more than he did when the season started.

But the points mounted in the month of January as the rookie defenseman scored four times and added six assists in 14 games.

And on Tuesday, the Sabres’ emerging star was recognized as the National Hockey League’s rookie of the month for his efforts.

“It’s exciting. It’s always nice to hear you’re recognized for your play, but I’m just trying to take it game by game here,” said Myers, who led all rookies in average ice time with 24:42 per contest. “I’m not too worried about points. I’m just trying to focus on making sure I play defense first.”

Myers will have his hands full tonight when the Sabres host an Ottawa team that’s won nine straight, and has closed the Sabres’ Northeast Division lead to just five points. The Senators did get some bad news when Nick Foligno, the son of former Sabre Mike Foligno, broke his leg in a win over Montreal on Saturday. Foligno was sixth on the team in scoring and had registered six points in his last seven games.

But Foligno’s injury aside, the Sabres have struggled against the Senators in the past, even in Buffalo. Ottawa has won on six of its last eight trips to HSBC Arena.

“It’s a good team for us to play. They’ve kind of had our number,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “It’s a good challenge, and I look at it as a heck of an opportunity to wrap your arms around it and go after it.”

Meanwhile, Myers, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Monday, joins previous rookie of the month winners Michael Del Zotto of the New York Rangers (October), James vanRiemsdyk of Philadelphia (November) and Matt Duchene of Colorado (December).

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