Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Rolston Spot On To Begin Camp


Feb 21, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Sabres interim head coach Ron Rolston on the bench during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Buffalo 3-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 21, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Sabres interim head coach Ron Rolston on the bench during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Buffalo 3-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

With training camp underway at First Niagara Centre, line combinations are starting to be revealed as the team hits the ice.  Although camp has just begun and line combos can obviously be changed, Ron Rolston has nailed the first two lines.  Unlike last year, players have a full training camp and also preseason games to develop some chemistry, so hopefully this will pay dividends for the Buffalo Sabres.

 

Line 1: Marcus Foligno     Cody Hodgson     Thomas Vanek

All offseason I have been preaching that Thomas Vanek needs a big winger to play with, who can win battles in the corners and intimidate opponents with his size.  Ron Rolston did exactly that by inserting Marcus Foligno on the first line.  It was a given that Hodgson and Vanek would be on the first line, but with the added presence of Foligno changes everything in a positive way.  Foligno makes his living in the corners winning battles, so just imagine how much this will benefit Vanek and Hodgson.  Not only will Foligno be winning puck battles in the corners and setting up goals, he will be strong in the defensive zone, winning puck possession and creating quality breakout opportunities for his line mates.  If this line can develop chemistry early on in the season, look for Hodgson and Foligno to have career years, and Vanek to put up 30 plus goals as well.  The sky’s the limit for the Sabres new first line.

Line 2: Steve Ott     Mikhail Grigorenko     Ville Leino

This is an intriguing line in my opinion.  The line of Ott, Grigorenko and Leino developed instant chemistry at the start of last training camp.  It’s a shame that Leino was hurt at the beginning of last season because this obviously slowed down the development of Grigorenko.  The makeup of this line is ideal for a second line.  Steve Ott provides much needed energy and grit, and can contribute offensively as well.  Leino (if he can stay healthy) is an artist with the puck and can be an elite playmaker.  Throw in a young Grigorenko, who has lots of upside and a nice scoring touch and you have a fairly dynamic second line ready to do damage in the NHL.

It’s still early on and only time will tell, but Ron Rolston has done an exceptional job generating the top two lines.  Both lines will have an even mix of size, scoring, playmaking and energy provided by Steve Ott and Marcus Foligno.  It won’t too long before we see how these lines pan out, and there is no doubt that the play of the Sabres top 6 will be crucial to the team’s success.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres NHL Ron Rolston

  • erico

    Only issue is we have 8 guys who can potentially play a top 6 role. Cant wait to see what happens too the 2 extras

    • qwicwted

      I’m not a big Porter fan although I know he has a very good work ethic. I think I would rather have him in Rochester working with our youngsters. Bflo has Armia, Larsson, Kaleta, Flynn and Tropp to round out a 4th line. Looking forward to the season.

      • erico

        Porter has already proven what hes capable of. i say he stays in buffalo. the youngsters are better playing 1st line minutes in rochester than 4th line minutes in buffalo

  • Ben Chalker

    I could see and Ennis Stafford Grigensons line potentially being effective, assuming Stafford has come out of whatever funk he was in last year ( and I hope he has ) and Girgensons steps up.
    The question will then be who is the more effective C in Ennis of Girgensons.
    Whether they want to play 3rd line minutes doesn’t matter, they’ll get the time they earn, if they come out on fire, then they’ll play.