What a month of November the Buffalo Sabres just had.
For real – it is hard to put into words what just happened but luckily, we are going to try to do just that.
Off the top, Buffalo finished the month of November with a record of 11-3-0 – which helped lead the Sabres to capturing a league-leading 22 points in the month.
To put that into perspective, only three other teams (Tampa Bay, Toronto and Columbus) gathered 20.
The Sabres were led by the incredible play of Jeff Skinner, who by far had the best November of any Sabres player.
In 14 November games, Skinner scored 13 goals and tallied 15 points. No other Sabres player scored more than four goals in the month.
He also has 20 goals before Christmas. Uhh, what?
The man is the definition of “white hot” at this point.
Skinner's 20th of the year.— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) December 1, 2018
1-0 Buffalo pic.twitter.com/JE3EzwZWLo
Skinner’s shooting percentage also ticked a little higher throughout the duration of the month, as he saw himself scoring goals at a clip of 27.1%.
For record-keeping purposes, we are obligated to tell you that Skinner is still on-pace for 61 goals entering the month of December.
The only other Sabres player to get more points than Skinner this month was Jack Eichel.
Eichel has continued to rally around the ability to play with Jeff Skinner throughout the first two months of this young NHL season.
Despite only shooting 1.7% during the month, Eichel tallied 18 points in 14 games (1 goal, 17 assists).
The developing shot selection issue with Eichel has begun to get a little troublesome but with the type of player Eichel is, it seems a little outrageous to think he will not get his touch back and figure it out soon enough.
Another player who had an incredible month was Rasmus Dahlin.
As mentioned yesterday, Dahlin was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month and rightfully so.
Dahlin put up 10 points (1 goal, 9 assists) in 14 games, while tying Sam Reinhart for the team with a +9 rating. We also point you back to the San Jose overtime, where we saw Dahlin grow right before our eyes.
Prior to the Skinner goal, Dahlin flew back on the back check to breakup a scoring chance for *checks notes* Erik Karlsson pic.twitter.com/SdkfwIvjMM— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) November 28, 2018
It does also appear that the long and winding road that is the development plan for Tage Thompson is working finally.
Thompson seems to have cracked the code in figuring out how his game fits in the NHL mold.
He found himself scoring four goals in 10 games, all while looking like he actually belonged in the lineup.
Looking at the team as a whole, the lede was surely buried here.
In the month of November, the Buffalo Sabres tied a franchise record with 10 straight victories.
This marked the third time in franchise history that the Sabres won 10 consecutive games. It happened first from January 4-23, 1984 and again from October 4-26, 2006.
Despite the calendar turning to December, Buffalo finds themselves in the thick of the playoff hunt.
Playoff chances, West and East. (Before today's sharks-sens) pic.twitter.com/TZrG22YHzj— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) December 1, 2018
Buffalo’s play as of late has been displaying signs of trouble but they continue to collect points at a decent clip.
The month of December features 13 Buffalo Sabres games, which will push us to the doorstep of the statistical halfway point in the season. If November showed us what the Sabres can be, December will tell us if they can feasibly keep themselves in a playoff spot.