BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson’s benching could last for a bit.
“Maybe two or three (games). Maybe four or five. Who knows?” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.
The struggling Sabres winger, who has two goals and eight points in 51 games, will sit out tonight’s tilt against the Ottawa Senators, the second straight game he has been scratched.
The 24-year-old must wait to return, Nolan said.
“We’re going to work him a little bit harder,” he said.
Of course, Nolan believes Hodgson, who had 20 goals and a team-high 44 points last season, is “a lot better than this shows.”
“You look at the minutes he played last year, who he played with last year and ice time and all those type of factors, and relatively they’re the same,” Nolan said.
What’s different? Hodgson played much of 2013-14 beside former Sabres captain Steve Ott.
“Maybe Steve was a good fit for him at that time,” Nolan said. “We’re just unable to get him that fit this year.”
Tonight will be Hodgson’s fourth scratch this season. Not even benching him Jan. 30 in Vancouver, where he started his career, could ignite him.
“Every personality on the team is different,” Nolan said. “With (Chris) Stewart, when he sat out, he was angry. He came back and you’ve seen his play. Some other people don’t take it that way.”
The Sabres will make one change on defense, inserting Andrej Meszaros, a healthy scratch the last four games, for Tyson Strachan. Goalie Jhonas Enroth will make his 35th start this season.