Derek Roy missed the second half of last season with a leg injury, and he missed most of the preseason with a shoulder ailment. As could be expected, the opening two games have been a bit of a struggle for the Sabres' center.
Roy has one assist, one shot and a minus-1 rating so far as the Sabres have started 2-0. The third game is Friday's home opener against Carolina.
"It could be better, obviously," Roy said today after practice in First Niagara Center. "The first games you’re trying to get into it. I missed a lot of months of hockey, then I missed a lot of training camp as well. It was a tough few games battling a couple injuries and trying to get through it. This week was great just to get back home, see the [new dressing] room and get excited. Everybody is excited here to play on Friday.
"I’m right there. I can see it. I felt better in the second game and started skating with the puck a little more, felt more confident and I’m just trying to work on little things in practice to try and sharpen up my game."
In addition to getting up to game speed, Roy is working with a new left winger. He and Nathan Gerbe had never played together before the European openers, and it takes time to get chemistry.
"I don’t think Derek is quite up to speed yet. It’s going to take a few games of really hard compete to get to that really high level," coach Lindy Ruff said. "He’s playing OK, but OK for Derek is not the level he needs to be. I just think quicker plays, quicker decisions. When he’s really on his game, he’s getting opportunities and he’s setting up the people around him."