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NOTEBOOK: STAFFORD SET TO RETURN

Thursday, 12.02.2010 / 2:22 PM / News
By Rob Crean  - Public Relations Director
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NOTEBOOK: STAFFORD SET TO RETURN
The newly-formed line of Luke Adam centering Jason Pominville and Drew Stafford remained intact during Thursday’s practice.  Stafford is expected to return from his 11-game absence on Friday when the Sabres host Columbus at HSBC Arena. 

Stafford and Pominville have not been paired together on a line before because both players typically play right wing.  Stafford will move to the left side and does not think the position switch will be an issue.

“Either way, you’re moving around a lot out there and it’s just a matter of getting in and making plays, and hopefully I provide some spark offensively,” he said.

Despite not having played much with Pominville, Stafford is hopeful that they can generate offense together.

“I’m definitely excited to see if we have some chemistry and see if we can spark the offense a little bit,” Stafford said.

With the team going through a stretch that has seen it score just five goals in four games, Ruff made changes to the lines in hopes of breathing life into the offense.  This week’s break in the schedule gave the Sabres plenty of opportunity to work on finding more ways to score goals.

“Our key guys need to put away their opportunities,” Ruff said.  “A lot of work on the offensive side this week and the transition side, so hopefully when the puck’s in the right players’ hands, they can convert.”



Columbus will enter Friday’s game against Buffalo having lost three straight games after losing 4-3 in a shootout against Nashville on Wednesday.  The 0-2-1 stretch has followed a five-game winning streak. 

Former Sabres player and assistant coach Scott Arniel is in his first season as head coach of the Blue Jackets and has his team off to a 14-8-1 start. Arniel was an assistant on Lindy Ruff’s staff from 2002 to 2006.  During that time, Ruff said, Arniel displayed a passion to one day become an NHL head coach.

“He had the fire for (becoming a head coach).  He didn’t want to stay (in Buffalo) and become a career assistant coach.  He wanted to move on and keep his career moving,” Ruff said.  “I would see him at coaches clinics when he was still playing, and that’s a pretty strong indication that somebody wants to spend some time in the coaching world.”

Ruff added that he is happy to see Arniel off to a good start this season.

“I think he’s gonna be a heck of a coach.  He’s doing a good job right now,” Ruff said.



Tim Connolly skated on his own before practice on Thursday to continue rehabbing a groin injury.  Ruff said Connolly might take part in tomorrow’s morning skate to work on his shooting and stops and starts.  There is no timetable on his return to the lineup.

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