Sabres: Everything Isn’t Great… But It’s More Than Okay

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So, the Sabres couldn’t score on Al “Inigo’s Kid” Montoya and Buffalo dropped points to the lowest-scoring and fourth-worst defending team in the NHL. Ville Leino couldn’t connect on a slightly-offspeed pass thanks to a micro-touch off the Isles goalie’s equipment and the Isles blocked 5-on-3 shots with everything but their faces. Sabres lose. Not good.

But this “end of the world” bullcrap has to stop. It simply has to end. The Buffalo Sabres are in 7th place in the East by virtue of not losing enough games in overtime and missing their No. 1 goaltender. Miller haters can dance on his maybe-concussed goalie mask,

FACT: The Sabres sat in the Top Ten in goals scored before tonight. I’m not doing the math to see if they’re 11th, but that isn’t bad.

FACT: The Sabres sat 15th in goals allowed per game despite not having access to the top — albeit somewhat struggling — netminder for a good deal of time.

FACT: The team with the most points in hockey, Pittsburgh, is 14-11. The Sabres are 13-12.

OPINIOFACT: The Sabres still don’t have a true No. 1 center.

FACT: The Sabres have the assets to acquire a No. 1 center.

OPINION: For the Enroth lovers (and he’s fine), look up Josh Harding. Numbers don’t always tell the story and the coaches are all at practice.

OPINION: Zack Kassian isn’t Cam Neely (yet), but it sure ain’t a lousy target for a fan to aim.

OPINION: Kassian wasn’t recalled before the Boston game only because the pressure for him to not only fight Milan Lucic but perform well is unseemly for a pick as valuable as ZK.

FACT: Twenty-seven yr old Thomas Vanek and 29-year-old Jason Pominville are on career-high paces for points and that includes the hallowed Briere/Drury years.

FACT: Despite some up-and-down offensive play early, Christian Ehrhoff is more than finding his way in a new system and on pace for 47 points (7g+40a).

OPINIOTWEET FROM “Follower” ZackHoliskey:  @NicholasMendola @pham22758 @BrianWGR How does Leino get away with doing one interview over his lousy month of play, and on a day he scored?”

OPINION: Great tweet from ZackHoliskey.

FACT: The Sabres have been without Tyler Ennis, Jochen Hecht and Patrick Kaleta for most of the season.

OPINION: All three players are integral members of the unit.

FACT: Brad Boyes and Ville Leino were both acquired post-Pegula.

FACT: I really liked the Boyes acquisition.

 

OPINION: Regier hasn’t been all-that-handy in free agency or trades in a while, but his drafting fits in the NHL’s upper echelon.

OPINION: I wonder if Pegula thinks Darcy’s handcuffs were as tight as he used to.

OPINION: There are a lot of good players underperforming and the team is still a short winning streak away from the top of the conference. Gerbe, Stafford, Myers… no way they all stay this low. Even if Vanek and Pominville don’t keep their pace, it’s hard to imagine Leino and Boyes are this poor.

FACT: My computer is running out of battery and I am tired.

FACT: The Sabres schedule for the next three weeks is torturous.

OPINION: If they make it out still in seventh or better, everything is more than fine.

OPINION: A lot of us need to relax. It’s effing November.

Email: nick@fcbuffalo.org

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