Buffalo Sabres fans most certainly have been watching the start of this season with bated breath.
The excitement from the Sabres play has been running rampant but many people find themselves waiting for the other shoe to drop. Everything has been alright so far – this team appears to be for real.
Buffalo has won the last three of four and their offense has by no means struggled in those victories.
A 9-2 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators last Saturday. An exciting 6-5 overtime victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. All followed up by a come-from-behind 4-3 shootout victory against the Vancouver Canucks.
When doing the math, that breaks down to 6.3 goals per victory.
How did this happen?
Well, I hope you are sitting down when you read this. We are ready to call it – the Buffalo Sabres are fun again.
The last confirmation needed was Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Buffalo was quickly headed toward a disappointing 3-1 loss after a couple bad goals allowed. Then, the newly-resilient Sabres kicked proceedings into high gear.
Jeff Skinner continued his red-hot start with his 12th goal of the season. Only forty seconds later, Sam Reinhart grabbed his second goal of the season - an absolute whirlwind that had Keybank Center amped up.
Two big penalties killed off in overtime, paired with a talent-filled shootout led to the improbable 4-3 victory.
When you know you're about to score. pic.twitter.com/cfMRaGr5qb— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 11, 2018
Even as recent as last season, victories like this would not seem possible.
There most certainly seems to be something different about the 2018-19 Sabres.
“The resiliency in this group, that never-out-of-it-attitude, the ability to continue to fight, it’s tremendous, and it’s been throughout the whole locker room,” Eichel said postgame on Saturday, as reported by Sabres.com. “It’s so important in a long season.”
As we have seen so far through 17 games, this team does not know any better.
As many people say about young professional athletes, the players do not know better. Wins and losses naturally come and go but it is all about how those young athletes respond to the highest highs and lowest lows.
With this relatively young team, perception most certainly is reality.
As the season turns, this team has continued to improve.
Jeff Skinner has continued to work himself into the goal scoring areas and turned that into 12 goals. He is on pace for a career-high 58 goals.
Jack Eichel continues to use his impressive hockey IQ to help make players around him better, which has turned into 15 assists. He is on pace for a career-high 72 assists.
Even rookie Rasmus Dahlin has found comfort in the professional game, as seen by his 54.0 Corsi For percentage – fourth-best on the Sabres. Despite his slow points start, Dahlin is on pace for 34 points.
Things are looking up for the Buffalo Sabres over at the Keybank Center, the big question is can this trend continue?
The young guns of Buffalo do not seem like they will be stopping anytime soon.