CAREER-HIGHS FOR LEOPOLD:
Leopold signed with the Sabres as a free agent on July 1 last summer and proceeded to have his best statistical year in his first season with Buffalo by recording career-highs in goals (13) and points (35) in 71 games. His five power play goals and 134 shots on goal were his highest totals in those categories since the 2003-04 campaign when he played for Calgary. Leopold led all Buffalo blue-liners in goals and ranked second in points behind Tyler Myers
’ 37. THE ICE MAN:
By averaging 23:19 of ice time per game in the regular season, Leopold finished as Buffalo’s leader in average time on ice. He averaged just over 28 shifts per game and logged 18:00 per game at even strength, 2:44 per game on the power play and 2:34 per game in shorthanded situations. Despite missing a total of 11 games on the season, Leopold still managed to rank second on the team, behind Myers, in total ice time for the year (1656:20). His ice time dipped below 20 minutes just five times in 71 regular season games. BATTLING BACK FROM INJURY:
Leopold suffered a hand injury during Buffalo’s 4-2 win over Florida on March 25, although you wouldn’t have known it at the time. It was revealed the following day that the injury was sustained during the second period of the game, but Leopold finished out the contest, even scoring the game-winning goal on the power play midway through the third period while leading all skaters in the game with 25:07 of ice time. Leopold missed the remaining eight games of the regular season as well as the first two games of Buffalo’s playoff series with Philadelphia. He made his return to the lineup in Game 3 of the series and appeared in each of the final five games for Buffalo while averaging 20:57 of ice time. LEADING A REVIVAL:
By scoring a career-high 13 goals, Leopold led a Buffalo defensive corps that combined for 40 goals on the season, the most goals scored by a group of Sabres defensemen since before the lockout. Leopold’s 13 goals were the most scored in a single season by a Sabres blue-liner since Alexei Zhitnik scored 15 during the 1997-98 campaign. In the last two seasons, during which he has played for Florida, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, Leopold has scored 24 goals. His 13 tallies this season ranked 10th among all NHL defensemen.
BY THE NUMBERS...
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Led all Sabres defensemen with seven multi-point games, including three, three-point performances. He entered the season with just one three-point game for his career and his trio of three-point games this season ranked third on the team behind only Drew Stafford
(6) and leading scorer Thomas Vanek
(5). Buffalo was 4-2-1 this season when Leopold scored more than one point.500
Appeared in his 500th career NHL game on March 10 at Boston. In 507 career games, Leopold has recorded 53 goals and 117 assists for 170 points. His 100th career assist came Nov. 6 against Toronto this past season.3
Leopold tied his career-high by collecting three assists in a win over Washington on Nov. 13.2
Leopold introduced himself to the Buffalo faithful in fine fashion, scoring two goals – the third multi-goal game of his career – and adding an assist in the Sabres' home opener against the New York Rangers. Although Buffalo lost the game, Leopold finished his home debut with three points and a +1 rating in 23:39 of ice time.
Here's a look at two of Leopold's signature goals from the 2010-11 campaign - his first goal as a Sabre, which came in a two-goal performance in the home opener, and a goal against Florida in which he broke in all alone to score his second of that game: