The Buffalo Sabres have no problems with the numbers being put up by Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville. They need more from Derek Roy, who has been battling injuries since training camp, and from struggling free-agent signee Ville Leino. And they certainly need more from winger Drew Stafford, who was coming off a 31-goal season and figured to be one of their major core players after signing a four-year, $16 million contract in June. Stafford missed Saturday's 5-1 win over Washington with what's believed to be a minor groin injury and is listed as day to day. The Sabres were off Sunday and return to practice today. They host the New York Islanders on Tuesday night in First Niagara Center. When he gets back on the ice, Stafford has plenty of work to do. The calendar is nearly at December and he has only four goals. "The last few games I've been trying to get the puck to the net a little bit more and keep getting shots," Stafford said. "I know that's been the answer for a while pretty much. Keep getting shots and getting to the net and one will eventually go in but it's true." Stafford had career highs of 31 goals and 52 points last year in 62 games and he had a shooting percentage of 17.3, tied for sixth in the league. Things are just a little different this year: He entered Sunday tied for 251st at just 6.7 percent (four goals on 60 shots). "He's had those Grade A scoring chances he was converting into goals last year and some games into hat tricks even," said coach Lindy Ruff. "This year, it's been a matter of 6 inches here, 4 inches there where he's had the goalie beat. He just hasn't been in the right spot."
Season for Sabres' Stafford not going as planned
Buffalo News | Nov 28