Tallinder, who leads the NHL with a +14 rating after 14 games, is the biggest loss, as he's been not only Buffalo's best defender, but one of the best in these Stanley Cup playoffs. Here's what Tom Luongo from Sabre Rattling said in the comments section on my game-night post:
My hope is that Paetcsh and Jillson can handle 8-10 minutes and that Tim Connolly returns to solidify our offense. I think with that defense we'll need to score 6 to win and we won't score 6 without Timmy.Working in the Sabres favour, of course, is the fact they lead the series two games to one, and only need to win two of the final four games to advance. So far, however, Carolina has already been outshooting the undermanned Sabres and holding the balance of play.
To say that I'm pessimistic right now is an understatment. Tallinder and Roloson are my front-runners for the Conn Smythe at this point, and you just don't replace that kind of player.
I can only imagine that will worsen should Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff follow through with his plan to put the undersized Jason Pominville back on the blueline.
"You feel terrible for the guy," Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said of Tallinder, 27, who is in his third full season in Buffalo. "The disappointing part is he played tremendous for us and now he won't be a part of it."
Ruff said Tallinder was hurt on "an innocent hit that left him with the injury. It was just a freak accident."