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ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT

Drew Stafford looks to build on last season's career-high 31 goals

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 4:15 PM / News
By Kevin Snow  - Sabres.com
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ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT
When Drew Stafford arrived at training camp last month, even head coach Lindy Ruff said he took a double-take when Stafford walked through the door. Stafford’s lean frame from the previous year had now become trimmer and even more toned. Coming off a career-high 31 goal season – and armed with a new four-year-contract – Stafford spent the summer refining the workout regimen that contributed to his success last season.

Stafford
“It all started two years ago when I wasn’t playing as well as I could have been,” he explains. “I felt like I could’ve been doing more to get better, and it started with my conditioning and fitness in the summertime. I lost a lot of weight and I trimmed up. This allowed me to get a little faster and a little more explosive. I also worked on my shot a lot more. I shot a lot more pucks in the summertime and that definitely translated to the ice.”

Stafford scored 31 goals in 62 games last season, and was among the league leaders with a 17.3 shooting percentage (31g/179 shots). His 62 games played were second only to Sidney Crosby for fewest games played by a 30-goal scorer; and he was tied for fifth in the league with an average of .50 goals per game. Stafford also tied with Washington’s Alexander Semin by scoring a league-high four hat tricks – with all four coming in a span of 60 days from December 15 to February 13.

Buffalo’s first pick (13th overall) in the 2004 Entry Draft, Stafford says his on-ice improvement is not only a direct result of what has happened away from the rink, but from getting older as well. 

I thought I maybe had it figured out when I was younger, but I really had a ways to go in my development and the type of player I could be. - Drew Stafford
It really came down to what I could control – my work ethic and my fitness. But it also had to do with the natural maturing process. I finally started to grow up.”

Now in his sixth NHL season, the 25-year-old Stafford (he turns 26 on October 30) was rewarded by the coaching staff last week when he was named as one of Buffalo’s four alternate captains along with Thomas Vanek, Paul Gaustad and Derek Roy

“It was a little bit of surprise. But for me personally it’s definitely an honor. It’s something that I definitely appreciate a lot. I’m very grateful for them recognizing me in that kind of way.

“At the same time, I’m not going to change anything. I’m going to do what I’ve always been doing. On or off the ice, I’m not really a ‘rah rah’ kind of guy. I mainly just try and play and lead that way. It’s not going to change how I prepare or play. We have such a diverse group of guys, it doesn’t matter who’s got a letter because everyone leads in their own way.”

Stafford gained national attention recently when his “Fu-Man Drew” workout went viral on YouTube, and it’s currently at more than 32,000 views. He had become known for his satirical videos and Twitter usage a few years ago, but don’t expect this video to take Stafford away from his current focus. He’d much rather let his play on the ice speak for itself. 

“I just kinda got of sick of Twitter and all that stuff. I don’t have time for that anymore. Besides, I don’t really have much to say anyway.”

SCHEDULE

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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