Sabres Need More Improvement
It would have been impressive if the Sabres completed the comeback last Wednesday against Washington. Defeating a division leader in three consecutive games is a tall task. Defeating the Capitals twice in one week, or just once in their arena, is just as difficult.
The Sabres began their turnaround with a win over Toronto on November 6th, which was the first of five straight games that ended up needing overtime, a franchise record for Buffalo.
More recently, Tyler Myers and Thomas Vanek helped Buffalo defeat the Canucks and Capitals by scoring the winning goal in overtime. After earning nine out of a possible 10 points, the Sabres were then defeated by Washington 4-2. The Capitals are 10-1 on home ice.
Buffalo bounced back with a good performance against Los Angeles, but then fell to the Lightning. Still, the Sabres have been doing well, and have been beating the better teams in the league. Later this week, they will face Pittsburgh and Montreal, two more big tests for this team.
After the recent success, it’s easy to jump back on the Sabres bandwagon. With the help of Jhonas Enroth and a flair for the dramatic, the Sabres have made it appear as if they are back on track….but are they?
Buffalo used the overtime and shootout to gain some desperately needed points.
The Sabres are only two points behind Ottawa, who is in the final and eighth playoff. There is still a long way to go, but Buffalo shouldn’t have to worry about missing the playoffs.
The fact is, all of those overtime victories could have easily went the other way. Who knows what would have happened if Ilya Kovlachuk didn’t lose the puck to end the shootout.
Here are some interesting stats, as we hit the one-quarter mark of the season.
Buffalo has won in regulation just four times this season. The Sabres special teams units aren’t nearly impressive. Buffalo ranks 24th in penalty killing and 27th in power play percentage.
The Sabres have allowed 64 goals, which ranks 29th in the league.
The Sabres have effectively shutdown Alexander Ovechkin. In two games against the Sabres this season, Ovechkin has not registered a point.
In the last two minutes of a period, the Sabres have been outscored 10-4. These numbers are excluding any empty net goals.