The Buffalo special teams have been anything but special this season with both the power play and penalty kill not performing as well as they have in previous seasons. While there are many things that we can highlight wrong with the power play, the one thing I want to touch on is how the Sabres like to take penalties during power plays. This is something that I noticed happening a handful this weekend, but it has become apparent this season.
Here is the table of players that have taken penalties during power plays.
|Player||Penalty||Time into Power Play||Team Against|
|Gaustad||Unsportsmanlike Conduct||7 seconds||Rangers|
|Connolly||Tripping||1 minute 23 seconds||Blackhawks|
|Leopold||Tripping||1 minute 4 seconds (was on 5-3)||Blackhawks|
|Roy||Holding||1 minute 18 seconds (was on 5-3)||Thrashers|
|Vanek||Cross-Checking||1 minutes 24 seconds||Stars|
These types of undisciplined penalties are killing the team across the board but really seem to be the worst on the power play. When your players are committing penalties of the tripping or holding variety, it usually means that players are trying to cover a penalty killing player streaking into the offensive zone. When the penalty is taken during a 5 on 3 situation, it makes it that much more egregious.
The Sabres need to focus on small things now to get their game back in line and not taking dumb penalties should be high on that list. Once certain parts of their game starts to come back, maybe the rest of the season can start to turn around.