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Then And Now: Six-Game Winning Streaks

Who are the big players of the Sabres’ six-game streaks?

Buffalo Sabres v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Before Monday night, the last time the Buffalo Sabres won six games in a row in a single season was nearly nine years ago, from December 27, 2009 until January 8, 2010.

That six-game winning streak saw the Sabres top the Blues (5-3), Penguins (4-3), Thrashers (4-3), Canadiens (1-0), Lightning (5-3) and Maple Leafs (3-2). Two of those games were on the road, against the Blues and Canadiens, while the rest were at then-named HSBC Arena.

Here’s a look back at the some of the big players on that season’s roster, and just where they are nowadays.

Tim Connolly registered two goals and added eight assists during that six-game winning streak. He finished that season with 65 points (17-48) in 73 games.

Nowadays, Connolly isn’t playing hockey anymore. He last played professionally in the 2012-13 season, appearing in 28 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. The 37-year-old quietly, seemingly, retired after a long string of injuries.

Tyler Myers potted three goals and four assists. Then just 19, Myers finished that season with 48 points (11-37) in 82 games and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie.

Now 28, Myers has been playing with the Winnipeg Jets since the 2014-15 season. Last season, he put up 36 points and appeared in all 82 games with the Jets. So far this season, he’s registered one goal and two assists in 19 games.

Jochen Hecht scored four goals and notched two assists during the streak, finishing the season with 42 points (21-21) in 79 games. He spent a few more seasons with Buffalo following that but wrapped up his playing career in the 2012-13 season. He served as an assistant coach for Adler Mannheim until May of this past season.

Drew Stafford scored three goals and added an assist during the six-game winning streak. He finished that season, his fourth in the NHL, with 34 points (14-20) in 71 games.

Stafford, of course, is still in the NHL, playing this season with the New Jersey Devils. He’s appeared in only five games this season, though, and has yet to find his way to the scoresheet.

In net, Ryan Miller appeared in five of the six games. He was actually pulled in the win against the Penguins after allowing three goals-against on 11 shots faced; Patrick Lalime finished out the game. Other than that snafu, Miller was spot-on and registered 154 saves during the winning streak.

Nowadays, Miller is splitting time in the crease with the Anaheim Ducks. He’s appeared in seven games so far this season, starting five of those and going 2-2-1 with a .924 save percentage and 2.71 GAA.

Just for fun, let’s also look at some of the big names in this season’s current six-game winning streak and where they were the last time the team had this kind of success. (Hint: get ready to feel old.)

Jeff Skinner has registered six points, including five goals, in the Sabres’ current winning streak. Now 26, Skinner wasn’t even in the NHL the last time Buffalo had this kind of success - he was a 17-year-old tearing it up with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers. That season, Skinner had 90 points, including 50 goals, in 64 games.

Jack Eichel, now Sabres captain, has put up seven points in the current winning streak, including five points in the last three games. Back in 2009-10, Eichel was newly a teenager and long before the days of his time with the U.S. National Development Team and Boston University.

Sam Reinhart was just 14 years old when the Sabres last won six in a row. Now, he has put up six points in their current streak, but back then, Reinhart was still awaiting his WHL draft, which came in 2010. Prior to that, he played minor hockey in West Vancouver and in the BCMML.

Finally, Rasmus Dahlin was only nine years old the last time the Sabres had a six-game winning streak. This season, he’s notched a goal and four assists in the team’s ongoing streak.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention forward Jason Pominville, who is not only here for the team’s current streak, but was also here for the last one back in 2009-10, and defenseman Steve Montador, who sadly passed away in 2015 but was part of that Sabres’ squad back in 2009-10.