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Twitter @SabreHess • 28 Years Old • Male
The word is out that Lindy Ruff has decided to mix things up with his top lines. Leino will be skating alongside Vanek and Pominville, while the rookie Luke Adam will play on a line with Roy, and Stafford. The changes shouldn't come as a surprise, given the slow start by nearly every top 6 forward not named Thomas or Jason. Yes Luke Adam got off to a hot start, but he has cooled considerably in the past 5 games, and has failed to capitalize on several point blank scoring opportunities in the last week.

With Ennis out nursing his ankle this team could really use Jochen Hecht back in the line-up. I don't have anything against the Boyes-McCormick-Ellis line, they provide a lot of energy and they have the ability to pin teams in their own end, while occasionally chipping in a goal here and there. However swapping out Hecht for Ellis is a considerable increase in skill to the roster. Ellis keeps his game simple, and is effective because of it, but he lacks the ice vision, hands, or finishing ability that a healthy Jochen Hecht can provide.

So what is the verdict on the Buffalo Sabres in their first 10 games? For now it's a hung jury, but here is my take on the opening month:

-Brandon Hess
-Follow me on twitter @SabreHess

Filed Under:   Buffalo Sabres  
October 31, 2011 11:28 PM ET | Delete
Jochen Hecht is a fringe player at best at this time in his career. His 20 goal seasons are past him. He was lucky to get 12 last season. His hands have left and there were times where he looked lost. I would prefer a healthy Hecht but at this rate he would be sitting on the bench. It is touching the loyalty the Sabres have shown him, but it is time to put him on LTIR and use the space to get immediate help
November 1, 2011 8:09 AM ET | Delete
The line shake-up should produce for the Sabres. I like the idea of Vanek, Pominville, and Leino on the same line. Could be quite a dangerous line to contend with. Leino is crafty as hell and should jump-start his linemates offensive woes.
November 1, 2011 8:19 AM ET | Delete
@Mathwil3 , I'm not disagreeing with your assessment of Hecht, but if he was healthy he wouldn't be on the bench, are you honestly saying you'd play Matt Ellis over Jochen Hecht?
November 1, 2011 12:10 PM ET | Delete
@electric81, If you think Leino would jump start his linemates offensive woes, shouldnt he be playing on a different line? Vanek and Pomminville are not exactly in need of jump starting anything. They are the only two players producing on the team. He was not effective in jump starting Roy ot Stafford...I think the line up change is just Ruff trying to mix it up in hopes that their Roy-Stafford- and now Adam line would be jump started.
November 1, 2011 12:23 PM ET | Delete
It would be nice to see Lamo effective at something other than turning the puck over at bad times. He's had one or two nice plays and a bunch of horrendous plays directly resulting in goals against. It's obviously still early in the season but he really needs to start doing something that leads to a Sabres win.
November 1, 2011 9:03 PM ET | Delete
I just feel the last couple of years he has gotten the benefit of my severest of doubts. It's not for lack of skill, but rather the absence of game. Even defensively where I always think of him as a Dixon Ward, he just had nothing going. I thought he would start the season in Rochester to form a core group of vets to show the University system Pegula wants to start. In a perfect world, Ellis would sit but after this concussion and his prior problems it is time to sit him for the year. Game over
November 2, 2011 8:02 AM ET | Delete
@Mathwil3 well now that he had a set-back who knows if we'll ever see him in blue and gold again. He's a UFA after this season, and I don't think we'd bring him back. Still he has contributed mightily in giving team Pegula an assist in recruiting Christian Ehrhoff, that might be his last assist as a Sabre.
November 2, 2011 8:57 AM ET | Delete
Sorry sasho, that ended up getting typed wrong. I meant to say that Leino would get going by being put on with Vanek on Pominville. Once he gets going though, he can probably start producing back on any line he's put on.
November 2, 2011 6:14 PM ET | Delete
Agreed, I would much prefer him going out playing as all players should
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