Matt Moulson said coach Ron Rolston wanted to see his line working Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ron Rolston moves Steve Ott to Sabres’ top line

BUFFALO – Top NHL lines rarely get benched long, especially on anemic teams with little or no depth.

So why did coach Ron Rolston sit the Matt Moulson, Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis trio the final 26 minutes of the Sabres’ 6-2 loss Friday in Anaheim.

“I’m not going to discuss that,” Rolston said after practice today inside the First Niagara Center.

As expected, the 3-15-1 Sabres, who have just 31 goals, mixed up their lines today.

Captain Steve Ott went on the right wing beside Moulson and Hodgson. Meanwhile, Ennis centered Drew Stafford and Ville Leino, a healthy scratch Friday.

Moulson clearly didn’t want to discuss the benching, although he said he “had a good talk with coach today.”

“We’re going to move on from that,” Moulson said. “Obviously, in sports you got to put things behind you pretty quickly.”

What did Rolston want the line, which hadn’t been scored on, to do differently?

“Just to make sure we’re working,” Moulson said. “I think when you’re relied upon to produce in this league on a top line, obviously, you have to be the best line out there each game. Obviously, the staff didn’t feel like we were last game. I didn’t think we were. So move on.”

Hodgson said he hadn’t spoken to Rolston.

“That’s up to the coach,” he said about sitting. “I just did my best to encourage the other guys.”

Ott’s presence gives the Sabres’ No. 1 trio some grit.

“We have to try to get some heaviness on that top line,” Rolston said.

Meanwhile, defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (lower body) will return Tuesday when the Sabres host Los Angeles. The German missed one game. Defenseman Mike Weber (broken thumb) practiced today but likely won’t return until the weekend.

Related: Sabres change lines after embarrassing loss

One thought on “Ron Rolston moves Steve Ott to Sabres’ top line”

  1. Let me get this straight. The top line is benched for the last 26 minutes of a blow-out loss and the #1 center on the top line, who was also benched in the Tampa game, has not spoken to by the coach and says his job is to be a cheerleader at $4MM per year. Hodgson is supposed to be a foundational piece in this rebuild and he is treated with kid gloves. The question every reporter and blogger should be screaming at Rolston is when will you leave?

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