Where to begin? Is it time to panic? The recent record would indicate so, losing all four games last week in regulation.
The words 'in regulation' are the key to that statement.
Losing is tough enough to live with, but dropping all four without a single point is even tougher.
The Sabres had done a great job this season when it came to grabbing the “loser” point. Let’s look at the record before last week: 32-14-7. That was a total of 21 losses, but with seven defeats (2 in OT, 5 in shootouts) coming with a point.
Since I’m not great with math, I checked with Will Hunting and he told me that’s 1/3 or 33 percent (I gave the other percentage point for regulation losses on Hunting’s advice) of the losses coming with a point.
Looking at the other division leaders in the NHL, The Washington Capitals are also at 33 percent with 18 losses and six in OT or S/O, while San Jose was the best of the division leaders at 45 percent (20 losses, 9 in OT or S/O). The Sabres were keeping great company until last week. The four regulation losses dropped that loser point percentage down to 28 percent. Couple that with the fact the Sabres have the least amount of wins (32) of any division leader, and actually have one less than Ottawa.
So, is it time to panic?
It’s time for the team to tighten things up again in the third period to ensure at least a point. It was the key to the success up until last week, and it was only one week.
The other thing the Sabres need to correct to ensure a week such as last week doesn’t happen again is…get the lead.
Seems obvious as that is the goal of every team in the league, get the lead in keep it. But the Sabres have been exceptional this season when leading after two periods, a whopping 20-0! The last win against Boston on January 29, the Sabres scored two in the first to grab an early lead they did not relinquish. Let’s hope Tuesday’s date with the Bruins brings back good memories for the Sabres to help snap this four-game skid. OTHER NOTES:
-For those of you that might be upset the Sabres didn’t get Ilya Kovalchuk, here’s the equivalent (in my opinion) that Darcy Regier would have had to send to Atlanta to get the one dimensional rental player. Chris Butler, Drew Stafford
, Tyler Ennis
and Draft pick. No thanks.
-A big thanks to Toronto for knocking off Ottawa on Saturday night keeping the Sabres atop the division.
-Speaking of Saturday, there was a great Buffalo crowd in Columbus for the game. Next time the buses from Buffalo should be replaced with snowplows to show the Buckeyes how it’s really done.