As the Rochester Americans battled the Hamilton Bulldogs at the end of the 06/07 season in the playoffs, besides the outstanding goal tending by Corey Price of the Crunch, our defense were too bruised to hold off the Bulldogs. As we head into the upcoming season Michael Funk and Andrej Sekera are hoping to make a big difference on the Rochester Americans team.
Two current defenseman for the Sabres, Jaroslav Spacek and Dmitri Kalinin were criticized for their performances during the playoffs, Funk and Sekera have their sights set on improving their play to one day replace them. Great news for them, let’s just hope the Sabres have some defenseman to replace them on the Amerks if the day comes!
07/17/07 Buffalo News Article
Funk, Sekera seeing spots
Young defensemen ready if Kalinin, Spacek falter
By John Vogl NEWS SPORTS REPORTER
Updated: 07/17/07 7:02 AM
Â Sometimes, it’s all about taking advantage of someone elses misfortune. Michael Funk and Andrej Sekera are working hard to do just that.
The Buffalo Sabres prospects are focused on themselves this summer, striving to improve every area as their second pro season approaches. If the defensemen donâ€™t get better, their chances of advancing to the NHL are slim no matter what anyone else does.
But their eyes sparkled when they thought about the chance they may have been given within the organization. The Sabres defensive corps, thought to be one of the teams strengths, began to crumble during the playoffs. Erstwhile stalwarts Jaroslav Spacek and Dmitri Kalinin were pinned to the bench for all but a few minutes as the Sabres season ticked to an end.
Also, two defensemen picked up at the trade deadline have not been re-signed. Timo Helbling has signed to play in Europe and Mikko Lehtonen is an unrestricted free agent.
Suddenly, the climb up the depth chart seemed shorter. Funk and Sekera are still long shots to make the opening-night roster this fall, but they now have hope they can supplant two players they previously had little shot to catch.