Feb 29, 2012, 4:26 PM EDT
According to the Buffalo News, newly acquired Cody Hodgson will make his Sabres debut tonight against the Anaheim Ducks, playing on a line with wingers Tyler Ennis (five points in his last six games) and Drew Stafford (three goals in his last four games).
“I’m excited to get going,” Hodgson said after the morning skate Honda Center. “Just try to fit in with the team as best as possible. I’m excited to be here, and hopefully it’s a good fit. I think we can complement each other. I know a few guys already, and I’m looking to have a good time. It’s fun.”
Based on head coach Lindy Ruff’s comments, Hodgson will be in a top-six, second-line center role — a role he rarely filled in Vancouver given the Canucks’ depth down the middle (most notably in Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler).
“[It’s] about trying to create two lines that can give us more of a solid offensive look,” Ruff explained. “If we spread it out, we end up going to a three- or four-line look. I think we’d like to take a look at the top two lines getting the bulk of the ice time first.”
Derek Roy will continue centering Buffalo’s top line with Jason Pominville and Tomas Vanek, meaning Ville Leino drops to center the third line between Nathan Gerbe and Patrick Kaleta. Brad Boyes, Matt Ellis and Corey Tropp make up the fourth — add it all up and there’s a big opportunity for Hodgson to play more than the 12:43 he averaged as a Canuck.
“There’s just some tweaks and stuff I’ll have to think about, but on the ice I try not to think too much and just go play,” Hodgson said. “There’s good players, and like I said just try to fit in and do the best I can.”
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