Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

November 11, 2011

Tropp impresses in Sabres stint

BUFFALO — A cup of coffee, that’s all Corey Tropp has experienced so far. Patrick Kaleta can return from his head-butting suspension tonight in Boston, so it’s possible the Sabres will send the rookie winger back to Rochester.

But Tropp wasn’t merely filling space for four games. Despite skating only about eight minutes a night, mostly on the fourth line, the 22-year-old played well, scoring a goal and turning some heads.

“He’s really establishing himself as an NHL player right now,” winger Cody McCormick, Tropp’s linemate, said Friday prior to the Sabres’ 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators inside the First Niagara Center. “I know they’re probably going to have to make decisions and that. I think he’s really given them something to think about the way he plays.”

Tropp’s high motor makes him noticeable most shifts. He’s terrific battling for the puck and in the corners. That was evident in the first period on Friday, when he outworked an opponent, earning his first NHL assist on Matt Ellis’ goal.

The American possesses a nose for the net, too. He scored his first goal early in Tuesday’s 6-5 overtime win against Winnipeg in front of the crease.

“He’s just tenacious,” McCormick said. “He’s really good along the boards, and I don’t think he’s lost a battle yet. I think that leads into the tenacity in his game. He’s real easy to play with.”

Tropp, who had four goals and seven points in the AHL, said he’s happy but not satisfied with his eight-day NHL run.

“There’s obviously a lot of room for improvement,” Tropp said Friday morning. “For a cup of coffee here, I personally feel like I’ve played pretty well. Hopefully, I can just continue to build off that.”

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff added: “He’s played well. He’s worked hard. He’s supplying real good energy for us. He’s been in around the net and he’s done a great job with the pucks down low. And that’s with limited ice time. Kudos to him for playing as well as he has.”

Kaleta, who’s aggressiveness is notorious, hasn’t played since head-butting Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek last Wednesday.

Another player might’ve received a lesser penalty. But the league clearly wants Kaleta to calm down. In suspending him, discipline czar Brendan Shanahan cited two previous head-butts.

“He’s got a history,” Ruff said. “He’s got suspended I think a little bit more because of the history of some of the incidents. Pat has to learn from it. We need him on the ice. We don’t need him sitting in the stands. I think the league has made a statement, and players have to make adjustments.”

Notes: The Sabres scratched winger Tyler Ennis (ankle sprain), center Jochen Hecht (concussion) and defenseman Mike Weber (healthy). ... The Sabres, with Hasek’s Heroes, Western New York Sled Hockey and the VA Hospital, will be hosting on-ice clinics for wounded servicemen and women. Interested veterans can contact Norm Page at 716-984-2585.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page