Getting back into the swing of things here at the Bleacher Report, I figured that I was long over-due for a hockey article.
Having watched my Buffalo Sabres, one of the streakiest teams in the league, battle all year long, I've had a few thoughts and figured I'd get them down onto paper, so to speak.
Today, I'll be covering a guy who I've come to appreciate and like; a heart and soul player whose impact can't be quantified by the box score or highlights on SportsCenter.
In my humble opinion, Patrick Kaleta has been an important sparkplug for the Sabres. He's an energetic kid who finishes all of his checks, provides a good forecheck and chips in a bit of offense now and again.
His most endearing trait (if he's on your team) is that he gets under the skin of opponents without having to resort to dirty play or under-handed tactics. He simply bounces around the ice, throws hit after hit and usually irritates someone bad enough to get them to drop the gloves.
He can affect a game with this "skill," enough so that he's been consistently good at drawing penalties and bringing the opponent's focus onto him rather than the game at hand.
Injuries have limited him of late, but I, for one, can't wait to see Kaleta back in the lineup. As long as he keeps up what got him here, there should be a spot in the Sabres line-up for him for many years.