Sabres Limp to Quarter Pole

The Month of November is not quite over yet but the Buffalo Sabres have finally reached the quarter point of the season. Most of the teams in the league reached the quarter pole last week but the Sabres were one of the last teams to do it on Saturday night. The results have been favorable for the Sabres through 20 games but the current three game losing streak is an obvious concern for the team.

We talked a couple of weeks ago about breaking the season into 10 game segments and the second segment was not a good one for the Sabres. They went 4-5-1 and it could have been worse if not for a tree game winning streak in the middle. The team suffered through some key injuries to Mike Grier and Drew Stafford but injuries are part of the game and good teams overcome their injuries. With that being said, you decrease your odds of winning when you lose a top six forward and replace him in the lineup with a defenseman.

 

Scoring has been the biggest concern for the Sabres in recent weeks. The team started the season by scoring just enough goals to win but now they are allowing more goals and the offensive deficiencies have become noticeable. Nobody on the team is averaging a point per game and Thomas Vanek has only seven goals to lead the team. At some point they will need their offensive players to step up if they want to be a playoff team.

 

5-on-5 5-on-4 5-on-3 4-on-4 4-on-3 3-on-3 3-on-4 3-on-5 4-on-5 EN PS Total
For 30 16 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 52
Against 28 3 0 4 0 0 0 1 12 2 0 50

 

Despite the recent struggles, the team has put themselves in a good position to be a playoff team. We talked about the key being 12 points in every 10 game segment. They failed that goal with only nine points in the last 10 game segment but the 17 points coming out of the gate was more than enough.

2009-2010
 Games Record Points Earned +/- points Total Points
 1-10 8-1-1 17 5 17
 11-20 4-5-1 9 -3 26
 21-30 26
 31-40 26
 41-50 26
 51-60 26
 61-70 26
 71-80 26
 81-82 26

 

The best thing the Sabres can do at this point is move on. They need to forget about the first 20 games and start looking ahead to the next 10 games. They find themselves trailing the Senators for the division lead, due in large part to their loss on Saturday night.


Northeast Standings

GP W L OTL PT
Ottawa 21 12 6 3 27
Buffalo 20 12 6 2 26
Boston 23 11 8 4 26
Montreal 24 12 11 1 25
Toronto 22 4 11 7 15

(updated 11.25.2009 at 8:23 AM EST)


 

The Sabres have a couple games in hand with the other teams in the division and will have to use them to their advantage to get back the division lead. The Upcoming schedule is not easy for the Sabres in their next 10 games. They played the month of November with a unique Wednesday-Friday-Saturday schedule but the schedule intensifies now that we head into December. There are many weeks when the Sabres will be playing four games a week and even 4-in-6 many times.


Sabres Schedule

Next 5 Games

@ Washington Wed 11/25 7:00 PM EST
@ Philadelphia Fri 11/27 1:00 PM EST
Carolina Sat 11/28 7:00 PM EST
@ Toronto Mon 11/30 7:00 PM EST
Montreal Thu 12/03 7:00 PM EST
NY Rangers Sat 12/5 7:00 PM EST
New Jersey  Mon 12/7 7:00 PM EST
Washington Wed 12/9 7:00 PM EST
Chicago Fri 12/11 7:30 PM EST
@ NY Rangers Sat 12/12 7:00 PM EST


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