The "friendly confines" of the First Niagara Center haven 't been so friendly to the Buffalo Sabres so far this year. The Sabres have played nine games at home, and they haven't won any of them,
treating punishing their hometown crowd to the tune of a 0-8-1 record.
This week, the Sabres thankfully leave their hometown woes behind as they play their next three games out in California, and won't see the ice at the FNC again until next Tuesday.
A weeklong vacation from Buffalo could be exactly what the Sabres need to get their game in order. Not only have they not won a game in Western New York yet, but they're allowing more than one extra goal against at home as opposed to the road, while their own scoring rate doesn't change.
At home, the Sabres have scored just 14 goals through 9 games while allowing 32, for an average of 1.56 GF to 3.56 GA. On the road, however, the team has been much better in that department, scoring 11 goals through 7 games while allowing 17, for an average of 1.57 GF to 2.43 GA.
Here's the math in an easy-to-compare spreadsheet
For comparison's sake, in the shortened 2013 season the Sabres' GF and GA was almost exactly equal in both their home and away contests, though they did perform a smidge better on the road.
When you add those ugly numbers to the equal parts quiet and toxic environment that the FNC has been this year, you see why the Sabres are looking forward to this road trip for more than just California sunshine and warm temperatures. Unfortunately, their opponents aren't playing ball, as Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose are some very strong competition. We'll see whether or not some time away from home does the team any good starting tomorrow night.