Over the last 6 games, the Sabres have gone 4-1-1 and have climbed within 4 points of a playoff spot. But last nights defeat was a crushing defeat and hard to watch. With all of their chips down the Sabres had a chance to get into that 8th and final playoff spot and, in doing so, put a ton of pressure on the other teams like Washington, Tampa, and last night‘s opponents the Winnipeg Jets. It was by far the biggest game of the season and they lost 3-1. Not only did they lose 3-1 but they also where out shot 31-24 and out hit 36-18. Now we could make the argument that the low hit and shot totals were due to them playing 4 games in 6 nights. So I looked at their last 6 games and found a startling statistic. In that span the Sabres where out hit 161-108 and out shot 212-139. That means they are being out hit, on average, 27-18 and out shot 35-23. These are not Playoff quality statistics. In Fact the Sabres are last in the league in hits according to NHL.com.
What I believe this points to is another early playoff exit or the inability to make it to the playoffs. Hits wear down your opponent and apparently the Sabres aren't that tough to play against. Can you guess who has the most hits in the NHL. That's right the East leading NY Rangers, or the team the Sabres will most likely see if they get that 8th, and final playoff spot. How about the most shots? How about a Crosby-less Pittsburgh Penguins team. Another team the Sabres would most likely have to go through to win the cup. But is winning that simple? Statistics don't lie. If you want to win in today's NHL you have to out hit your opponent to wear them down, While out shooting your opponent gives you a greater chance to score more goals. Of course having a great goalie who can steal you games helps. But wouldn't Ryan miller like some goal support oce in a while? If the Sabres don't turn these two statistics around drastically, I fear they will be unable to get into the playoffs. And if they do make it in who ever they play will most likely hit them and out shoot them to death. I hope I am wrong but statistics don't lie