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THE NEED FOR SPEED

Wednesday, 10.12.2011 / 2:45 PM
By Kevin Snow - Sabres.com / BEYOND THE BOARDS
It’s been nearly 10 months since Derek Roy suffered a torn quad tendon against Florida on December 23. The initial prognosis called for a 4-to-6 month recovery time, but Roy was able to make it back to play a limited role in Game 7 of Buffalo’s Eastern Conference Quarter-Final loss to Philadelphia.

Roy
It’s now two games into the regular season, and Roy returned from Europe with just one assist and was a minus-one in Buffalo’s wins over Anaheim and Los Angeles. Roy started training camp alongside Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville, but now finds himself centering a line of Drew Stafford and Nathan Gerbe. Head Coach Lindy Ruff hasn’t exactly been overwhelmed with their chemistry so far.

“Overall, they’ve been okay,” said Ruff. “I don’t think Derek is quite up to speed yet. It’s gonna take a few games of really hard compete to get to that really high level.”

Ruff realizes that Roy still needs some time to get back to game speed, but couldn’t put a timetable on when he expects the “old” Roy to return.

“I don’t know for sure; I would hope a few games. I think he’s playing okay for Derek, but okay for Derek is not at the level he needs to be. When he’s really on his game he’s creating opportunities and setting up the people around him.”

Even with the early success of the Vanek-Adam-Pominville line, Ruff said he’s not against shuffling bodies around to jumpstart other players.

“We can always flip some pieces around,” he explains. “It seems sometimes that when you do that you end up with better results. We end up with Luke up between Thomas and Jason, and that’s just from trying to get pieces to fit and work together."


There was no change in Jochen Hecht’s status. Ruff said that Hecht will continue to practice, and will be evaluated again on the weekend.


The Sabres are scheduled to wear their third jersey in eight games this season, including twice on the road. The eight-game schedule is as follows:
- October 27 vs. Columbus
- November 5 @ Ottawa
- November 16 vs. New Jersey
- December 3 @ Nashville
- December 9 vs. Florida
- January 3 vs. Edmonton
- February 10 vs. Dallas
- March 14 vs. Colorado

Buffalo will also wear white at home against Toronto on January 13 because the Maple Leafs will be wearing their new third jersey that night.

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