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On the second day of Christmas..

Twelve wishes for the Buffalo Sabres this holiday

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals
Sabres give up another power play goal
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

You’ve all heard "The Twelve Days of Christmas", an English Christmas carol that’s been around for a couple of centuries now. Here’s a cute sung-by-animals version -

2. Improvement in the penalty kill

The Buffalo Sabres have been completely abysmal in penalty killing this season, and especially over the last month or so. They are currently ranked 29th in the League in penalty kills, having given up 23 goals in 89 attempts for a 74.2% kill percentage. They seem to be equally bad on the road as they are at home (73.1% vs 75.7%, respectively), and are one of three teams yet to register a shorthanded goal this season.

Funnily enough, you cannot lay the blame squarely on either the goalies or the defense in this case. The Sabres are actually ranked 6th in goals against per 60 min played 5v5 - though they do give up 29.9 shots per 60 min played 5v5, which is 18th in the League.

However, when shorthanded, those numbers go up astronomically - 9.71 goals against per 60 min played shorthanded (29th) and 71.5 shots against per 60 min played shorthanded (30th).

Clearly, something has changed in the last season, and you can imagine losing a veteran like David Legwand who was a stalwart on the kill hasn’t helped (Click here to take a look at the major player on the Sabres PK over the last three seasons).

Buffalo Sabres penalty kill records

Again, hate to be the portender of doom and gloom, but the Sabres are giving up more than three penalties per game and if they continue to ship goals like they are, they could find the points dropped from silly mistakes will hurt them at the end of the regular season.

PS - I’ve changed the order of the posts; my super-smart wife kindly pointed out to me that I was actually counting the days down opposite to what the song suggests, duh!