Wow, what a 2011 Nathan Gerbe had. After a slow start to the season last year, Gerbe’s game turned around in late January and he found himself among the best Sabres down the stretch. This is where writing this countdown will be enjoyable because I like everyone left on this list. Far too often in 2011 (last season and this season), players seemed to be inconsistent and disappoint. For parts of ’10-’11, Gerbe was no different. When that calendar turned the page, Buffalo discovered the Nathan Gerbe they had seen during the 2008 Frozen Four.
Positives: While Nathan Gerbe has many strengths, what I admire most about him, is just that… his strength. For a player as small as him, Gerbe is strong and looks it on the ice. At just 5’5″ Gerbe is listed at 178lbs. I have no doubt that’s all muscle. I’m 5’10″ and weigh that much but I am quite rounded in the middle. For that reason I blame Labatt’s but to be 5 inches shorter must mean Nathan Gerbe is solid. This guy plays with no fear and is more physical that Tyler Myers and Paul Gaustad combined. Gerbe has good hands and a quick release. Hell, if Nathan Gerbe was any bigger, he would almost be a power forward.
Negatives: This is a point where on paper you can point to his size. When Gerbe plays like he’s 6’3″, you must turn your attention elsewhere. I have often said that you can tell a lot about a player when they don’t have the puck, and I think this is where Nathan Gerbe can turn a weakness into a strength. I’d like to see Gerbe play a little better defensively. This is not to say he’s lacking in this area, I just think Gerbe is capable of anticipating the play better and making better reads in his own end. Could you imagine Gerbe being a force at all ends of the ice? There would be no stopping him.
2012 Outlook: Here’s an interesting question, would we think any less of Gerbe’s hustle and physicality of he were 6 ft tall? Does Gerbe’s size define his game? I think no, although I think either side of the coin could argue their point. I think as fans, we can recognize a player with as much heart and grit as Gerbe. I do think everything he does in spite of his size is amplified as he’s the smallest player in the league. Isn’t it fun to root for the underdog? Don’t people see a bit of themselves in #42? We all have odds and obstacles to overcome and isn’t the best way to conquer any challenge through hard work.
I have enjoyed Gerbe’s career since his Boston college days. Even though he was slowed down this season by injuries, 2012 is a fresh start and Gerbe could go a long way in showing up the high-priced forwards on this team. I anticipate big things for him in the future. Widely becoming a fan favorite, I hope Gerbe is as much a leader off the ice, as he is on the ice. Gerbe wearing a letter on his jersey would make a lot of people proud of him and his hustle.
I eat, sleep and breathe Sabres hockey. I have been into the sport literally my whole life. I started going to games when I was 9 months old and have been hooked ever since. Growing up, I played against guys like Ryan Callahan, Patrick Kaleta, Tim Kennedy and now I have to pay money to watch them in person... Funny how things change.
TagsAdam Beer Beer Snob Boston Bruins Buffalo Buffalo Sabres Canada cheektowaga chipotle Countdown Darcy Enroth fast food First Niagara Center food food truck gamenight gerbe grill Hecht HSBC Arena Hurricanes Jason Pominville jhonas enroth Kaleta Lindy Ruff Luke Adam mexican Miller Nathan Gerbe NHL Parrish Pegula Penguins Pittsburgh Playoffs pregame Ryan Miller Sabres Stafford Terry Pegula Thomas Vanek Trade Deadline Trades Tyler Ennis
- Hopped Up: Firestone Walker Parabola Review on Ice and Bites: bit.ly/JUB2Yi 11 months ago
- I gave: Parabola @firestonewalker a 4.5/5 #beer beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2… via @BeerAdvocate 11 months ago
- New on Ice and Bites! Hopped Up: A Craft Beer Series bit.ly/LhtWQn 11 months ago
- RT @DSims3: @iceandbites Hey there Ice & Bites. I'm missing Sabres hockey already... At least we still have great food in this city. 1 year ago
- @adotmello absolutely, and having the constant aperature through the 70-200mm is nice on the L's 1 year ago