On Monday, a night where Sidney Crosby scored a hat trick and at least one other sport was played, this was the number one play on Sportscenter:
Now I know what you’re thinking: really? That’s it? No one dunked a basketball on Monday night? Derek Roy was the superhero of the evening?
It was a strange phenomenon, but when Roy scored on Monday no one really got excited. Sure the Sabres scored, but… it was Derek Roy. Now it’s harder to get mad at him because the numbers will probably be there. Sure the puck was lying there because Drew Stafford messed up, and it was really lucky, but in the end it will be another point for the second-highest scorer on the team.
Ugh, Derek Roy. He’s such a frustrating player to watch because he never really seems to get things together. It may be solely based in perception and perception only, but Derek Roy is not a player that gets me all hot and bothered. His style of play doesn’t excite, and I’ve never really been bowled over by his talent in the six years he’s been on the team.
Then there’s the diving, the whining, and the Amber Alert-inducing disappearances that make you wonder just how the racks up points the way he does. Maybe that’s it right there: he is one of the Sabres’ top scorers yet I have no idea how that’s the case. You don’t really see it the way you do with other players, and that makes it hard to really get behind his contract and role on the team.
It may only be perception, but it seems to be a problem a lot of Sabres fans have. When Derek Roy has a bad game, everyone knows it. The crowd groans, Twitter blows up, and the text messages start flying. Take a look at his game log. I can’t think of a time in the last two months when I was truly impressed with his game, but somehow he has five two point performances over that stretch. On a team where scoring is as balanced as ever, Roy is still at the top of the heap.
The problem for me, at least I think it might be the problem, is that Roy is not going to get much better. He’s not going to make “the leap” to the next level, and while he’s a fine hockey player his salary is only going up. His production dropped last season after a notching 81 points in 78 games back in 07-08, and he’s on pace for an even lower total this season.
Still, the Sabres don’t have many options when it comes to big scoring threats. As fans we seem to be stuck with him, and that’s not a comfortable way to root for someone.
But maybe it’s us? Are we too hard on Derek Roy because he will never reach our unnecessary expectations? Do we give other players a pass when we should give Roy that same doubt?
Last year when Thomas Vanek broke his jaw it was Derek Roy who stepped up and took over, if only for a few games. Is that the true Roy we are holding out hope for, or should we just get over ourselves and appreciate the talents of our #2 scorer?