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ENNIS THE MENACE MOVES TO CENTER

Tuesday, 01.31.2012 / 2:43 PM
By Kevin Snow - Sabres.com (@kwsnow) / THE MORNING SKATE
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THE MORNING SKATE
ENNIS THE MENACE MOVES TO CENTER

LINEUP NEWS
- Tyler Ennis returns to the lineup after missing 17 games due to injury (high ankle sprain).
- Ennis will shift to center on a line with Drew Stafford and Nathan Gerbe.
- Paul Gaustad will be a game-time decision; he has missed last three games with upper body injury.
- Ryan Miller expected to start in goal.

WHAT THEY WERE SAYING TODAY
Lindy Ruff (click to hear full audio)
With basically your full lineup back tonight, can you get the guys back to how the opened the season in Europe?
We’ve had a tough ride. Getting back to that point isn’t just flipping a switch. It’s gonna take a total team effort. I don’t think it’s that easy.

What have you seen in Ennis that prompted you to move him to center?
We need a little creativity there in the middle. I think his speed and creativity should give us some of that. He’s always had a pretty good link with Stafford. We started the season with those two guys together. Tyler was in on a great number of Staff’s goals last year. If he can free him up for an extra one or two times per game, then it should help us generate a few more goals.

Is being without Hecht one of the reasons you shifted Ennis to center?
Part of it is. We’re gonna need somebody to step in there. It’s a little bit of a gamble, little bit of a guess. But it’s worth taking a shot at.

Tyler Ennis (click to hear full audio)
What was going through your mind when you re-injured your ankle in December?
It was just frustrating. I thought I got it going right before, but when I hurt it again it was pretty frustrating. I feel good, ready to go; can’t wait.

What are you looking forward to about playing center?
I think just having the puck a little more, skating the puck out and taking charge a little bit. I’ve played center in the minors, in junior, and a little bit up here. I’m excited to switch it up a bit. I’m gonna have the puck a bit more, so I can create more that way.

Did you really learn to play center while you were in Portland?
I played it growing up. But playing in the d-zone and technically, it was a good time for me to play center in Portland. There are bigger guys, so positionally it helped me a lot there. There are a lot of smaller guys that play center in this league. It’s all about having a good stick, being smarter and quicker.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82