The Buffalo Sabres have plenty of preparation time for this weekend. Without a game until the team travels to Detroit on Friday night (MSG, 7:30 p.m.), Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff will be utilizing these next four days as a tuning fork.
The first item on Ruff's agenda will be to get the power play hitting all the right notes.
"I'm bothered by the fact that we haven't converted," said Ruff. "The opportunities are there and those are things you don't want to see go by the wayside.
"Our zone time and possession time have been good, but our conversion part of it hasn't been very good."
Buffalo in fact has started off the season in a bit of a slump with the man advantage, scoring just one goal in the last 25 opportunities.
But according to Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere, the unit has made some improvements over the past three games and may start seeing some light at the end of the tunnel this weekend.
"The first game in Carolina, we were absolutely terrible," said Briere, whose team didn't score a power-play goal in its first 17 opportunities of the season. "Against Montreal, we had some better chances. In Ottawa, we did a much better job and could have had a couple more goals.
"It's improving but it's not where we want it to be and where it can be."
Where the unit can be is parallel to or better than last year's squad, which ranked third in the league in conversion percentage at 21.2 per cent and fourth with 101 goals scored.
"That's the one area that we really want to improve," said Briere. "Hopefully, [these four days of preparation] will turn into more goals in the future."