Kukla's Korner Hockey
by @DaveDavisHockey on 12/03/10 at 06:27 PM ET
You might think Sabres coach Lindy Ruff would have to be desperate to put a pair of struggling youngsters on the top two forward lines. Well, his 25th ranked offense is averaging a paltry 2.4 goals per game. It’s hard to blame him for feeling a little antsy.
Enter Nathan Gerbe and Luke Adam, who are getting premium billing despite tallying only 4 assists in 20 total games between them this season.
Buffalo idly slid down the ladder during its five day break which ends tonight at home against Columbus, and the Sabres suddenly find themselves eight points behind eighth place Atlanta. The gap is measurable now, and this team has a lot of work to do.
For his part, Ruff is rolling out a new look lineup trying to kick-start his offense.
Adam will center the second line with Drew Stafford, who is returning after a lengthy injury, and Jason Pominville (The right winger Stafford interestingly will be shifted to the left side).
But the guy who really needs to take the buffalo by the horns is Gerbe. Now three seasons in and still struggling to secure a permanent role with the big club, he’s getting a golden opportunity tonight as he’ll play the left side on the top line with currently the two most dangerous forwards on this team, Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek.
Gerbe has been given plenty of chances and has 2 goals in 35 NHL games to show for them. He’s only 23-years old, but you have to think the Sabres brass has concerns that they’re dealing with a career AHL player here. Patience has its limits - just ask Tim Kennedy, Daniel Paille and Jiri Novotny.
Buffalo needs a spark, and the promoted Adam and Gerbe both should be chomping at the bit. They probably noticed that Tim Connolly practiced this morning and his return to the lineup isn’t far off. Something will have to give, and you never know how many prime time chances you get.
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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