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BTB BLOG: ROY ANSWERS RUFF'S CHALLENGE

by Brian Wheeler / Buffalo Sabres
Beyond the Boards is written by the Buffalo Sabres Website Manager, Brian Wheeler. Joining the Sabres prior to the 2003-04 season, Wheeler is the main contact and content editor for Sabres.com. He has worked in the NHL, NFL, AHL and NLL over the past 11 years.  Click here to send him an email.


 
Derek Roy (photo: Getty Images)
Derek Roy has done exactly what Lindy Ruff challenged him to do.

If you remember back when Roy was nursing a shoulder injury that forced him to miss four games in early Jan., Ruff made the following statement concerning effort level and his replacements.

"I thought we had some guys that exceeded [their roles] last night," said Ruff back on Jan. 11.  "For other guys to come back into the lineup, they're going to have to exceed where they are at.

"That's just the bottom line because, based on their absence, other guys have filled in exceeded where we should be at. That was something that I was very impressed with."

Ruff was specifically referring to Roy and the center responded by scoring five goals and seven total points in the four games since his return on Jan. 18.

That's the performance Ruff has been looking for.

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Listen to Lindy Ruff's comments from Jan. 11 and following the Sabres 2-1 win at Dallas on Thurs.

Lindy Ruff Audio
Jan. 11, 2008 
Jan. 24, 2008
"He makes a difference," said Ruff.  "Derek is a guy that we look to help create and he really makes that line go."

More telling of Roy's effect on the team is the production of his linemates: Drew Stafford and Thomas Vanek. The trio has combined for 10 goals and 21 points in those same four contests.

Their stats are below...

Scoring Frenzy -- Last Four Games
Derek Roy -- 5 goals, 2 assists for 7 points
Drew Stafford -- 4 goals, 4 assists for 8 points
Thomas Vanek -- 1 goal, 5 assists for 6 points
 
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