Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

February 11, 2012

Sabres' McCormick not timing goal drought

Tough guy out tonight after leaving shootout win early

BUFFALO — Cody McCormick said he hasn’t “put a stopwatch” on his marathon goal drought, which hit 60 games Friday in the Sabres’ 3-2 shootout win over the Dallas Stars. The gritty winger wasn’t aware he had reached a career-long dry spell.

Of course, McCormick, the Sabres’ top fighter, isn’t a big scorer. He potted a career-high eight last season, though, and he possesses good hands and the ability to play with anyone.

But McCormick hasn’t scored a regular-season goal since Feb. 25 (he did tally once in the postseason). The goal-starved Sabres desperately need some offense from the 28-year-old, who once went 57 games without scoring.

“You’re never happy not to have a goal,” McCormick said Friday morning inside the First Niagara Center. “ … I think when I get one I’ll get a couple more and confidence will be there.”

He added: “It’s not like I’m sitting around here moping about it. You can’t do that.”

Hours later, McCormick left the game early in the second period (upper body), his second injury this season. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said McCormick’s out tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The early-season concussion that cost McCormick 10 games has slowed him a bit.

“I’m surprised,” Ruff said about McCormick having zero goals in 38 contests this season. “Part of it was getting a little dinged up earlier in the year. But he’s got good hands. I think we’ve seen that where he can move the puck and make good plays. He can finish. I think he’ll get some. He hasn’t.

“His struggles have been along the lines of some of our other players.”

McCormick, who has two assists and is a minus-7, has struggled in other areas, however. He even sat six times as healthy scratch in January, something he believes helped him.

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