In part three of our four part preview series of the Sabres and Flyers first round playoff matchup, we take a look at the two team's offenses. Both the Sabres and Flyers finished the season with top 10 offenses, but the gap between the two teams is somewhat large.
The Buffalo Sabres finished the season ninth in the league by scoring 2.90 goals/game. The team scored a total of 240 goals in those 82 games. Thomas Vanek is the team leader in all of the offensive categories: 32 goals, 41 assists, and 73 overall points. The Sabres had four twenty goal scorers, Vanek, Drew Stafford, Jason Pominville, and Tyler Ennis. The Sabres also had eleven double digit scorers and 26 players who registered at least one goal this year.
The Sabres offense is led by Thomas Vanek but there have been a handful of key role players that have stepped up this season. Drew Stafford is having a career year for the Sabres with 31 goals and 52 points which are career highs for Stafford in both categories. Tyler Ennis played ten games last season and in his first full season he scored 20 goals and 49 points, the point total being good for fourth overall among all rookies this year.
The Flyers finished the season scoring 256 goals or 3.12 goals/game, which is good for 3rd in the league. The Flyers have a few more weapons than the Sabres do, with six players scoring at least 20 goals. They are led by Jeff Carter who scored 36 goals this season and Claude Giroux who leads the team in assists with 51 and points with 76. While the Flyers have more twenty goal scorers, they only had nine players register at least 10 goals this season, two less than the Sabres and 20 players to register a goal, six less than the Sabres.
The Sabres know how dangerous Daniel Briere is for the Flyers because he was a weapon for the team a few years ago. Briere finished the season with 34 goals and 34 assists which is a career high for him in goals this season. This Flyers team is full of veteran players as well, only three rookies played for the Flyers this season for a total of eight games.
The Flyers get the edge in offense due to the fact that they have more players that can score at will than the Sabres do. The Sabres do have a more balanced scoring team though.