When the Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Christian Ehrhoff last summer, expectations were high for both him and the team. However, Ehrhoff and the Sabres failed miserably at living up to those hopes. So should fans expect a bounce-back year from the German blueliner and his teammates?
One thing they should count on is Ehrhoff being in midseason form when play does resume.
He's been lacing them up for Krefeld in Germany's premiere Deutsche Eishockey Liga since mid-September. It's familiar territory for the 30-year-old, as he started his pro career with the same team in 1999.
Bad luck was also part of his struggles last year, as he missed 16 games due to injury.
Although his production was down, his impact in the Sabres' lineup was still huge. They went 3-10-3 without him.
Here we'll examine four different reasons why Ehrhoff will improve on his disappointing 2011-12 campaign.