BUFFALO — Cody Hodgson said he loves exploring cities. On the road, where he’s on pace to play an NHL-record 48 games this season, the 22-year-old Sabres center tries to see all the sights.
Hodgson just visited Times Square last week prior to his first game in New York. The Toronto native rates Dallas – sorry, Sabres fans – and Nashville among his favorite cities.
One day recently, Hodgson hopped in his rental car and began driving around Buffalo, a place he had seen little of since being acquired from Vancouver on Feb. 27.
“I did a little exploring around myself, just driving around the city,” Hodgson said Friday prior to the Sabres’ 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins inside the First Niagara Center.
A few days ago, teammate Robyn Regehr’s wife, Kristina, organized an excursion around the area for Hodgson and some other players.
They hit the mayor’s office, Albright-Knox, Anchor Bar and Ralph Wilson Stadium.
“It’s great,” Hodgson said about the area. “I like the fans, too. They’re passionate. They know the game. They want the Sabres to do well.”
With three goals and seven points in the last five games entering Friday, Hodgson’s finally performing well following 10 pointless games out of the gate with the Sabres. He’s pivoting a strong line between rookie Corey Tropp and Thomas Vanek.
Coincidence or not, Hodgson found his groove on the ice around the same time he settled into his new city a bit. He played his first four games with the Sabres on the road and 10 of the first 15 away.
“I guess I’m more familiar, more comfortable with how things work,” Hodgson said. “I can just go play the game. It’s fun.”
At one point, he had played nine straight and 13 of 16 on the road going back to his Vancouver career. An appearance tonight in Toronto will tie Mike Foligno’s Sabres record of 46 road games, set in 1981-82 following his arrival from Detroit.