Cody Hodgson Needs To Step Up For Buffalo Sabres


Cody Hodgson is driving the struggle bus this year for the Buffalo Sabres. He’s 14th on the Buffalo Sabres in points, with just eight on the season. His two goals are tied with Tyler Myers and Nikita Zadorov for eighth on the team, and his six assists are tied for 7th.

Hodgson is not producing at the numbers he’s capable of or expected to be producing, and it shows. That’s part of why head coach Ted Nolan decided to scratch the 24-year-old against his former team, the Vancouver Canucks, last week.

While Cody Hodgson isn’t the only player on the Buffalo Sabres that is struggling for points this season, it’s alarming how much his numbers are down from the past two seasons.

Let’s break it down.

We’re going to look at the first 48 games of the last three seasons. (The Buffalo Sabres game against the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday, in which Hodgson had an assist, was the his 49th game of the season – so we’re not counting that one.)

The reason we’re looking at 48 is, of course, because that’s how many games Hodgson played during the lockout-shortened season. To keep things fair and make the comparing numbers on an even playing field, we’re sticking to 48 games. So here we go.

Through 48 games this season, Cody Hodgson has a measly two goals. The first came in October, nine games into the season. It would take a 19-game drought before he’d score his second goal of the year, on December 13.

It’s been 20 games since he last scored.

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  • Through 48 games in the 2013-2014 season, Hodgson had 14 goals; the previous season, 15.

    Also compare the assists: just five this season, compared to 17 last season and 19 the previous year. Seven points, compared to 31 and 34, respectively.

    He has no power-play or shorthanded goals this season, compared to six power-play goals last year, and three power-play (plus one shorthanded) goal in 2013.

    Perhaps one of the biggest drop-offs for Cody Hodgson this season: he’s not shooting nearly as much.

    Through 48 games, he has just 62 shots this year. Compared to 113 last season and 114 the season prior…. that’s a significant, and troubling, difference.  Though he has registered at least one shot in 39 of 48 games, it’s not happening at the same rate as the last two seasons.

    He knows that he needs to be better — but when does it happen?

    It’s not just the points on the stat sheets that have dropped off significantly for Cody Hodgson, though.

    Looking closer into things, this season has pretty much been a complete bust for him.

    Hodgson has points in just seven games this season. He has no multi-point games, and no point streaks at all.

    Last season at this point, he had at least a point in 25 of 48 games, with multiple points in six games. Hodgson had two four-game point streaks last season, one three-game point stretch and a pair of two-game streaks.

    During the 2012-13 season, he had at least a point in 22 of 48 games, with multiple points in nine games. He had a pair of three-game point streaks as well as a pair of two-game point streaks.

    No such luck this season, it seems.

    Coupled with this is the struggle in ice time for Cody Hodgson. He’s played less than 10 minutes in five games this season, compared to just once last season and no times in the 2012-2013 season.

    The 2013 season saw Hodgson skate more 13 minutes in 47 of 48 games, more than 15 minutes in 46 games. He saw slightly less ice time than that last season, but not by much — skating 13+ minutes in 43 of 48 games, and more than 15 minutes in 42 of 48 games.

    This season: he’s had more than 13 minutes of ice time in 29 games, and more than 15 minutes in 21 games.

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    Going along with this, the number of shifts he’s taking each game has also dropped significantly.

    Hodgson is averaging 17.1875 shifts per game this year, compared to 21.58 shifts/game last season and 22.541 shifts/game in the 2013 season.

    One stat line where Hodgson remains equal with last season is plus/minus. He’s a minus-21 at the 48-game mark this year and was at exactly the same point last season. (It should be noted, however, that he was just a minus-4 during the 2013 season at this point.)

    The numbers don’t lie, and neither does the on-ice product. Cody Hodgson is having a major struggle of a season with the Buffalo Sabres, and something has to be done.

    Hodgson either needs to step up, or general manager Tim Murray needs to try to ship him out — or consider buying him out, if it comes to that.

    Many will point to the fact that the Sabres as a whole have been terrible this season, and while that’s true, Hodgson has been pegged as a player who was supposed to be producing, and he hasn’t done that this season at all.

    Others will point to the fact that he’s 24 and still has a lot of room to grow in his game, and perhaps that’s true — but where do you draw the line?