Here Comes Buffalo…?
If you would have told me the Buffalo Sabres would be 3-7-2 after 12 games I would’ve called you crazy. To find a record worse you have to go back to the tank year of 14-15 when the Sabres started 2-9 (including any OT losses). Phil Housley and GM Botterill have their work cut out for them now. If this pattern continues; Buffalo, say hello to Swedish defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin.
It’s hard to understand what the issues are for the Sabres. Opening night against the Montreal Canadiens everyone assumed the Sabres had fixed their issues—only needing more shootout practice. If only there had been a way to see the complete onslaught the Sabres would face in the next few games. They dropped their next game against the New York Islanders 6-3, in which 4 goals of the game were shorthanded (two a piece). The next game against the New jersey would continue to exploit the Sabres faults. New Jersey would blow the door open and win 6-2. Surprise, surprise, the Sabres allowed FOUR shorthanded goals in three games; starting the season 0-2-1.
Fast forward to today, the Sabres have a record of 3-7-2. Their recent stretch has been quite the head-scratcher. Sabres dropped a game to the Las Vegas Golden Knights on October 17. During that game, the Sabres went into the third period down 4-1. They rallied to score three straight, with a tying goal from Kane with 8.9 seconds left in the game. The Sabres went on to lose that game in overtime 5-4, and then lost the following game against the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. The very next day the Sabres beat the Boston Bruins in overtime 5-4. Buffalo was down 4-0 and scored two in the Second period to battle back. Pouliot got the Sabres within 1 in the third. Then, with a little over 2 minutes remaining in regulation, Evander Kane tallied another goal and tied the game. After a nice nose-grinding shift, Ryan O’Reilly roofed a back hander and ended the game. Tuesday, October 24, Buffalo faced off against the Detriot Redwings. Beniot Pouliot scores the game’s lone goal to solidify a 1-0 win for the Sabres. The following night they dropped a game 5-1 to Columbus—nobody showed up to play.
Their next game would come on Saturday, October 28th against the San Jose Sharks. Buffalo took a 2-1 lead until 11 seconds left in the 2nd period. Buffalo blew their lead and eventually lost the game 3-2. Phil Housley even said the team begins to fall apart at key times during the game… GREAT! After two seasons of tanking and a rebuilding year, and a disappointing season where we should’ve made the playoffs but finished even worse than our rebuild year, we are stuck with a team that can’t pull it together.
The Sabres next game is against the one win Arizona Coyotes. This is a MUST win Thursday night. The Sabres can salvage the season but it has to start now. They have to put October behind them. If they keep pondering over what went wrong, they will bottom out this season. Guys like Kyle Okposo, Sam Reinhert, Johan Larsson, Jake McCabe, and Robin Lehner need to pick up their respective games because they’ve been a big part of the disappointing start to the season. Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly, Jason Pominville, and Evander Kane are stealing the show and those four guys can’t carry this team. They need a shake up and need it soon, otherwise this season will be over before it really began—another wasted season for talent that could thrive elsewhere.
Ready up Buffalo…