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Streaky Drew Stafford is red-hot again for Sabres

Mar 30, 2012, 8:30 AM EDT

Randy Jones, Drew Stafford AP

When Buffalo Sabres winger Drew Stafford scored 31 goals in just 62 games last season, few expected him to generate the same results (a goal every other game) during a full campaign. Even so, Stafford’s output has been disappointing – until he really started to turn things around in mid-February.

Sure, he’s still been streaky even before that time, but he’s had two big runs since Feb. 17, with Bill Hoppe spotlighting the most recent one (subscription required).

From Feb. 17-March 3, Stafford scored four goals and three assists in eight games. He then went on a four-game pointless streak before his most recent (and most productive) span. Stafford bounced back from that mini-slump with an impressive eight-game run from March 12-27, scoring six goals and eight assists, including two winners.

While it still leaves him quite short of the efficiency that earned him a four-year, $16 million contract extension last season, Stafford’s resurgence isn’t that different from last year, where he scored nine of his 31 goals in February 2011.

It’s true that the past two seasons feature remarkably similar results, but it’s too early to call it a pattern. Still, the Sabres might be wise to keep his streaky nature in mind rather that cutting the chord if he struggles early on next time around.

  1. travishenryskid - Mar 30, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    It’s really pretty simple. If he plays with Tyler Ennis, he’s great. If he doesn’t, he’s bad.

  2. travishenryskid - Mar 30, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Another note on Ennis: he not only makes Stafford better, he makes the entire team better.

    Ennis in the line up: 26-9-7

    Ennis out of the line up: 12-20-3

    Conventional wisdom has Miller as the MVP of this team, and rightly so, but Tyler Ennis may very well be the straw that stirs the drink.

    • donfocker89 - Mar 30, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      Whats the record with Ennis at center?

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