Lindy Ruff knows slumping Cody Hodgson will become a contributor for the Sabres. The coach looked a little south for evidence to back him up.
James Neal was lost after Pittsburgh acquired him last season. The forward had 21 goals and 39 points in 59 games for Dallas, but he recorded just one goal and six points in 20 games with Pittsburgh.
This season, Neal is a monster. He has 31 goals and 65 points in 68 games to help keep the Penguins rolling in Sidney Crosby's absence. (The Kid will return Thursday against the Rangers.)
After putting up 16 goals and 33 points in 63 games with Vancouver, Hodgson has nothing to show for eight outings in Buffalo.
"It’ll come," Ruff said. "I’m not concerned. I think you look at it, and it’s obviously disappointing. But it will come. It’s probably no different than when James Neal went to Pittsburgh last year. There was a 'it’s not working out,’ then all of a sudden it works out.
"For the most part, I’ve been happy. He’s been in on some great opportunities that haven’t finished, but he’ll finish."