To no one’s surprise Vanek and Hodgson will begin opening night on the top line, the surprise on that line is Drew Stafford. Early in camp Rolston appeared to want Marcus Foligno on the top line, but with a shoulder strain keeping him out of the lineup Stafford fills the empty spot. Vanek and Hodgson have formed solid chemistry through the preseason and they look pretty good together, now they just need to get Stafford back on track.
Vanek will not have the C tonight as the Sabres play in Detroit but will still be looking to make an immediate impact for the Sabres. How he starts the season will speak volumes for whether he plans to stay or go. Look for this line to generate lots of offence but struggle on the whole defence aspect.