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Sabres’ hot start is making everyone in Buffalo look good except Ville Leino

Oct 19, 2011, 10:12 PM EDT

Ville Leino Getty Images

The Sabres are 4-1-0 to start the season. Ryan Miller is playing like it’s the Olympics, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville are scoring the way they’re being paid to do, rookie Luke Adam is forcing teams to take notice of him, and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and Robyn Regehr are doing their jobs to the hilt.

So what isn’t working for the Sabres? Free agent acquisition Ville Leino. Leino spoke with WGR radio in Buffalo about how he feels about his slow start with the Sabres and he’s got a few things to get off his chest.

“I don’t know if it’s the system or whatever, but I’m sure that I’m not happy with how I’ve played. I’m sure Lindy isn’t happy either. I’m just trying to work here and get things working.”

Struggles can happen with a new team when it’s early in the year. It takes time to develop chemistry that works great. What’s concerning is that Leino was bumped down to the fourth line in their win over Montreal last night.

Part of the issue for Leino, he says, is that he’s struggling playing center. Remember Leino saw all his success as a Flyer last season as a winger. The Sabres signed him up for a monster six-year deal in the offseason to play center. Whoops.

Having Leino set up on the wing with natural center Tyler Ennis there to move back to the middle could be the simple tweak needed to get Leino right. Playing him on the fourth line forever isn’t an option. If this is the only issue the Sabres have to figure out for now, they’re doing just fine and helping make Terry Pegula and GM Darcy Regier very happy executives.

  1. silverdeer - Oct 20, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Didn’t do it in Detroit, was successful in Philly, currently struggling in Buffalo. Some guys just don’t get it. When you find success, jumping from team-to-team tends not to work in the NHL.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 20, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      People just look at the numbers and overlook a little thing call chemistry. He had alot of it with Harts and Danny B hence the production. Buffalo overpaid for Leino’s services. Time will tell if the move will do more good than bad.

      • danphipps01 - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:01 PM

        You have to wonder how much of it was him feeding on the talent of Briere, eh?

  2. mkil1390 - Oct 20, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    he is certainly a system guy. Makes me wonder why they would put him at center in the first place.

  3. buffalotears - Oct 20, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Only 5 games into the season and it guess it’s time to worry? Calm down… its wayyy to early

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