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Sabres healthy scratch Leopold for first time in three years

Feb 19, 2013, 12:39 PM EDT


After a poor outing in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh, defenseman Jordan Leopold has been dropped from the Sabres lineup for Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg.

“I just haven’t got off to a good start,” Leopold told the Buffalo News. “I’m trying to keep the confidence up, trying to get into plays, trying to make things. It’s the little things, not big things that have been getting me a little bit.

“It’s not the first time I’ve sat and watched a game. You learn from it. It creates a fire underneath you and urgency to get better.”

According to the News, it’s the first time Leopold’s been a healthy scratch in his three years with Buffalo.

The 32-year-old rearguard’s had an erratic start to his season, recording just 1G-3A-4PTS in 16 games while posting a minus-7 rating.

He was blasted for some poor defensive zone coverage on this Pascal Dupuis goal during Sunday’s loss:

“That’s an easy read for me,” Leopold explained. “Having that one sneak by, there’s nobody to fault but myself. You look at it and learn from it. Lindy’s got to make his choices with lineup. We got 8 D here. Sometimes you find yourself out.

Ruff didn’t have much to say in explaining the decision to drop Leopold from the lineup.

“I expect more out of him. I expect more out of a veteran defenseman. He’s going to have to work hard to get back in,” the Sabres head coach said.

TJ Brennan will replace Leopold against the Jets, paired with fellow defenseman Mike Weber.

  1. kgun80 - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    That took forever!! He has been the most inconsistent… Offensively he actually hasn’t been that bad when joining the rush but defensively he always seems to be chasing,and out of position. He was much more physical in past seasons not sure where that went ?

  2. buddysguys - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    can we put together a package of one of these 8 D men, a forward and a pick for O’Reilly already geeeeez……

    • dgravey321 - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      I would rather they put that kind of package together for someone like Evander Kane

      • rabidbillsfan - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        Yeah, cause that will fix the 32.3 shots against that Miller see’s night in and night out. Ever stop to think that maybe if our D could clear the zone and maybe keep the other teams attack time low that the offensive guys could maybe get it going? But, why would you, you are probably part of that ridiculous “Buffalo Mafia” that claims to be a die-hard fan.

    • mehetmet - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      problem is noone wants a dman from the worst defensive team in hockey. Also aside from the top 3 forwards who do score, noone wants one of the others that would be up for a trade (Stafford, Gerbe)

    • elemeno89 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      yea! because thats what buffalo needs. another forward who had a breakout year during their short career, who wants a crap ton of money thrown at him. AND A CENTER NO DOUBT! so let’s throw away roster players for a guy who remains unsigned and is holding out for more cash.

      because you know, a signing like that totally works for our system… *ahem* VILLE LEINO *ahem*

      and if you didnt get my sarcasm, i was definitely making fun ot the stupidity behind of this glorious excuse of a trade proposal.

    • biasedhomer - Feb 19, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      I think you could do something around Tyler Myers for O’Reilly. A good prospect or a 1st round pick needs to be going the Av’s way though,

      Myers really needs a change of scenery.

      • thedavesiknowiknow - Feb 19, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        You want to trade Myers for O’Reilly’s rights? A used car salesman would have a field day with you.

      • biasedhomer - Feb 19, 2013 at 6:21 PM

        Have you seen Myers lately? He looks completely lost.
        And its not just this season, it extends into last season.
        Plus, that contract doesn’t help, A $5.5M cap hit (keep in mind the salary cap won’t be jumping by $8M a year anymore).

        If they could get back a 21 yr old center of O’Reilly’s promise, they would have one of the best 1-2 punches down the middle for the next 5 years with Hodgson and O’Reilly.

      • thedavesiknowiknow - Feb 19, 2013 at 8:45 PM

        Yeah, I’ve seen him. He’s out of shape, and quite possibly the injury he suffered as a scab was probably worse than reported. It’ll pass.

        The asking price for O’Reilly isn’t that high now (I think an immediate roster player and a top prospect), and the more time passes, it’ll probably go down.

        No way the Sabres want another young center anyways. The inexperience in the middle (with respect to their own end) isn’t doing the reputation of this defense any favors.

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