The Morning Skate: Hodgson in spotlight for debut

It sounds as if Lindy Ruff plans on using Cody Hodgson on a line with Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis. Keep in mind that is the plan. Lindy Ruff isn’t afraid to shuffle his lines and he certainly isn’t afraid to shuffle them after a few minutes.

For the record, I would have placed Hodgson on a line with Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek while bumping Derek Roy to more of a checking role. There is still a chance to see those type of lines as early as the second period tonight.

I have high hopes for what Hodgson will bring to the table. He is a skilled center who should pay dividends to a team desperate for offense. I don’t expect to see Alexander Sulzer in the lineup any time soon. Perhaps he will see time here and there, but the Sabres’ top six have been playing strong hockey as of late. On the bright side, if he goes in the lineup, he would probably mesh well with fellow German Olympic teammate Christian Ehrhoff.

Getting Hodgson and Sulzer out to the west coast last night certainly isn’t ideal. It would have been nice to have him skate with his new teammates yesterday, but I doubt that Hodgson will have too much trouble adjusting to the new locker room.

Don’t forget, this is a game between two teams scrapping to find their way to the playoffs. Each team is in desperate need of points and should show quite a high level of compete to get a pair this evening. The Sabres need to come out flying, the Ducks are a big squad who should be able to push the Sabres around.

Highlighted Matchup

Cody Hodgson. Obviously everyone wants to see how the new face will fare with the Sabres. Last year’s deadline acquisition, Brad Boyes, paid immediate dividends. If Hodgson has a similar impact right off the bat, he would be an excellent addition for the Sabres.

Projected Goaltenders

BUF: Ryan Miller

ANA: Jonas Hiller

Last Meeting

Sabres 4 – Ducks 1, Helsinki, 10/7/2011

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