With Connolly gone, this was to be Roy’s year. It’s hardly even resembled one of his lesser campaigns. Roy’s .64 points-per-game is his worst since his rookie season when he notched 19 points in 49 games. He was 20 years old.
Has he fully recovered from the injury? It’s impossible to say, but something’s not right with Roy. The most frustrating thing about No. 9 is that he may very well be the engine of this team. Laugh if you will, but look at the facts:
– When Roy records a point, the Sabres are 12-2-3.
– When Roy fails to mark the scoresheet, the Sabres are 5-15-0.
It’s maddening. Perhaps it would be better stated if I went with he’s maddening. Roy doesn’t seem to be vacationing during losses, something that looked rather damning during the early absences in his career. In fact, he seems to be pressing. At his worst he channels the worst of Maxim Afinogenov in blue-and-gold; Bad giveaways and fluffed chances are the bane of his season. At his best — this year — he simply looks like an average NHL player.
That’s a major regression for the engine of the Buffalo Sabres, an engine that needs a major overhaul. The Sabres have the NHL’s ninth-leading scorer in Thomas Vanek and its 11th in Jason Pominville. Imagine the season Nos. 26 and 29 could be having with a productive middle man. Roy’s 23 points are 102nd in the league, behind seven defensemen and tied with four others.