Already member? Login first!

Comments / New

Five factoids about the Buffalo Sabres at the All-Star Break

With a week’s break before the next Sabres game and the All-Star festivities not yet begun, we thought today would be a good time to take a moment and reflect on some of the more astounding, interesting, and depressing stats from what has been yet another terrible season for the Buffalo Sabres. Some you may know, some you may not, but all of them have something to do with why the Sabres record is where it is at this point in the season.

So without further ado, here are five stats that will make you a more informed hockey fan, or at least more interesting at cocktail parties:

1. The Sabres have eight of the nine worst Corsi ratings among all NHL defensemen, and nine of the worst 13 forwards.

Of players who’ve played more than 10 games, the Sabres defensemen collectively make up the entire bottom of the NHL, save for one sad Colorado blueliner. They are, in order of Corsi bad-ness: Josh Gorges, Tyler Myers, Andre Benoit, Rasmus Ristolainen, Andrej Meszaros, Nikita Zadorov, Mike Weber, and Tyson Strachan, the lone player above 40% Corsi.

The forward situation is just about as bad, with nine of the thriteen worst Corsi rating among forwards with more than ten games belonging to Buffalo. It’s mostly the fourth liners (Kaleta, McCormick, etc.) and the top line, because they spend the most time on the ice and the team overall has pathetic possession numbers. Collectively, the possession stats are so bad that….

2. As a team, the Sabres have the worst Corsi rating of any team in the last 12 years.

And that’s only because the War On Ice possession stats don’t go back any further than that. They’re so far behind the rest of the league that the difference between the 30th ranked Sabres and the 29th ranked Avalanche is slightly greater than the difference between the 25th ranked Devils and the 1st overall Kings. Keep drivin’ that tank right off the cliff, boys.

3. Buffalo has just nine points in 22 road games.

For as bad as their record has been overall, the Sabres have actually been fairly decent at home, sporting a 10-13-2 record at the FNC, good for 25th in the league. However, Buffalo is the league’s worst road team, going 4-17-1 in enemy territory. The next closest teams, Edmonton and Carolina, each have 15 road points, Arizona has 16, Philly has 18, and everyone else has at least 20.

For comparison’s sake, Buffalo earned 19 points in their 41 away games last season, putting the current team slightly behind last year’s sad number. The Sabres have earned just 20% of their possible points on the road, and when they get back from the All-Star break they’ll be facing a four-game road trip right out of the gate.

4. Their power play has hurt them almost as much as it’s helped them.

Thanks to a recent “surge” in “production”, the Sabres have scored 13 power play goals this year, good for – you guessed it – last in the league. However, while on the man advantage, they’ve managed to let their opponent score eight times. To put that another way, when they go on the power play, they only have about a 50% better chance to score a goal than the other team does.

If the team keeps giving up shorties at the pace they’ve set, they’d end up with 14 shorties against, which would be the most any team has given up since the 2010-11 season, when Tampa Bay gave up 16.

5. Jhonas Enroth has stopped 20 of 21 shootout attempts, the best save percentage in the NHL (10+ shots).

Since we didn’t want this list to be completely depressing, let’s end on a high note – if the Sabres can manage to make it to a shootout, they’re almost guaranteed to win as long as Jhonas Enroth is in net. Enroth is a perfect 5-0 in the skills competition and has stopped just about everything thrown his way. Which he basically has to do, considering how much the Sabres struggle to score in all situations. Kudos to you, Jhonas, as the only Sabre to lead the league in any statistic besides Latvian All-Star votes.

Talking Points