It’s clear Tyler Ennis is still struggling since returning from injury. The Buffalo Sabres need to do the smart thing and rest him.
When Tyler Ennis recently returned to the Buffalo Sabres‘ lineup after a two-month absence, it couldn’t have started much better. He scored after just 19 seconds against the Dallas Stars, just as planned.
Unfortunately for Ennis and the Sabres, not much has gone right for him since. After five games, that goal is still the only point he has to his name in 2017.
Some people would point out this isn’t much different to how the 27-year old was performing, before he underwent surgery. In 12 games he had just two points, giving him a total of just three on the season, in 17 appearances.
However, in defense of Ennis, it’s clear he still isn’t fully recovered from his groin and sports hernia surgery. (Also keep in mind he was playing with the injury before undergoing the procedure.) You only have to watch him skate, to know he’s still not entirely comfortable.
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Sabres’ coach Dan Bylsma is well aware of the Edmonton, Alberta native’s struggles, as he discussed with WGR550’s Paul Hamilton: ” It’s still a process for Tyler getting back in and getting back up to speed.
“A huge part of his game is his skating, his agility and his acceleration. He’s still working to gain that.”
However, Bylsma is confident Ennis will soon be back up to speed: “It’s going to be a process for him in doing so the next couple of weeks and I think you’ve seen that jumping into that line and has shown spurts of excitement and what he can do in the offensive zone, but we’ve also seen that he’s still not up to 100 percent with his skating and that will be a process for him.”
Any professional athlete worth their salt, will never make any excuses for their lack of production, no matter how justified it would be. The Sabres’ 2008 first round draft pick is no different.
Also speaking to Hamilton, Ennis said: “Personally I’ve got to get going a little bit. I’ve got to play a little better, I’ve got to contribute.”
Given how uncomfortable Ennis still is, it would arguably be a good idea to give him a short break. While understanding the nature of playing yourself back into form, would it really hurt to sit him for a bit and give him a chance to fully recover?
Yes, the Sabres are in a fight for their playoff lives, but surely even a couple of games couldn’t hurt? Of course, I appreciate Bylsma and his medical staff are much better qualified to decide what’s best for the winger.
In that respect, Ennis will just continue to fight through the discomfort in the hope of returning to his form of previous seasons, no matter how long it takes: “It’s probably going to be a while, so I’ve got to play through it.”
What is your perspective in respect of Ennis. Do you agree that he needs a rest, or do you think he should continue to play? Share your thoughts in the comments section.