Matt Ellis a Mainstay for Buffalo Sabres?

TJ LuckmanCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2009

Forward Matt Ellis has quickly become a favorite among some Buffalo Sabres fans.

Since the winger has been called up, Ellis has five points in nine games with Buffalo, with four of those points coming in the past two games against the Ottawa Senators and the Boston Bruins

Sure, the scoring is bound to die down. This is most likely just a routine fourth-liner catching fire at a good time for the Sabres, but let's look at what else Ellis brings to the table.

Much like the rest of his fellow third- and fourth-liners, like Paul Gaustad and Patrick Kaleta, Ellis brings some much-needed grit into the Sabres' lineup (especially with Kaleta out with a neck injury). 

However, unlike a lot of the Sabres this year, Ellis has given his all, if not more, in each and every single game he's played in, giving no less than 100 percent. 

The Sabres are 9-3-4 in the 16 games that Ellis has played in Buffalo this season, with the Sabres collecting 22 points in those games.  Without Ellis in the lineup, the Sabres are 11-12-1, collecting 23 points in 24 games.  Considering the Sabres have collected just one more point in eight more games without Ellis, keeping the gritty forward in Buffalo for a while may be a good idea. 

Unfortunately, Ellis may fall victim to a numbers game soon. With the return of C Tim Connolly at hand, the Sabres are going to have to shed a forward.

The likely choice is to send down D Chris Butler, who in his recent call-up to the Sabres has filled in quite well on the defensive side.  Butler can freely go between the NHL and the AHL without having to go on waivers, which is good news for the Sabres, who at this point, should ride any wave they can in order to keep winning.

Here's a message to the team: Keep riding the Ellis wave.