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Sabres' Ruff hoping for Neal-like surge by Hodgson

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."

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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