Cody Hodgson

Sabres experimenting with Hodgson on the wing

10 Comments

The freedom to experiment is one of the silver linings of being out of a playoff position. And if there’s one thing the Buffalo Sabres are, it’s extremely free to experiment.

Recently, coach Ted Nolan has been experimenting with Cody Hodgson on the wing, as opposed to his usual center position.

“We want to see where he best fits with the team moving forward,” Nolan said, per the Olean Times Herald. “Maybe he’s a better winger. Also, you have to get him with the right people, get him the puck because once Cody has the puck within a certain footage of that net, he has a good chance of putting it in.

“He’s not known for his great defense, and we don’t want him to play great defense. We want him to score offensively. But you have to be reliable defensively. One thing about the wing position, it’s not as complicated as playing center ice.”

Nor does playing the wing require a player to cover so much ice to support the puck. And given Hodgson isn’t the fastest skater in the league, that may be another reason for this experiment.

Per dailyfaceoff, this is what the Sabres’ top six currently looks like:

source:

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

Leave a comment

Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

5 Comments

Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

Leave a comment

Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)

Video: Dion Phaneuf’s assist is his first point with Senators

Leave a comment

Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.

Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.

You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.

Here’s his second assist for good measure:

Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.