The Buffalo Sabres powerplay at times last season, was awful.
The powerplay ranked 16th but at times, it struggled to score goals at key moments in last year’s attempt to get to the playoffs. The powerplay point leaders for the Buffalo Sabres were Thomas Vanek, and Captain Jason Pominville. The powerplay relied on Vanek and Pominville – a little too much. They both combined for 18 powerplay goals last season.
But this year I think it will improve. Derek Roy, who was a big negitive to the powerplay in my opinion, is gone. Roy shot the puck way too much, which set the powerplay to fraustration, almost to fits. It should help this powerplay (and other things) knowing hes not on the team. The name of Tyler Ennis comes to mind. Ennis is a player who can set it up straight for this Buffalo Sabres powerplay. Ennis only played in 48 games last season, but he could be a big wildcard to help jump start this powerplay.
What the Buffalo Sabres do too much on the powerplay is passing of the puck. When that happens, the pass gets intercepted and goes down the ice. Behind the net where Ryan Miller gets it, and they start off again. I can see it play over and over again in my head, everytime during the game and even in this offseason.
I look at the good powerplay teams that can score. The Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Vancouver Canucks. I watch them, and I don’t see constant passing, I see those teams shooting the puck. They set up, the let it rip. Even the Deroit Red Wings used to have the best powerplay in hockey. They have the players to make thier powerplays work, so do the Buffalo Sabres. It’s just whether they can do it and then continue it on a regular basis. The point is, the more the Buffalo Sabres shoot the better the powerplay could be.
I also think Cody Hodgson, can be a big contributor to the powerplay in this upcoming season. But at times last year, I questioned Lindy Ruff’s decisons on whos out there for when the Buffalo Sabres have the man advantage. Either way, this mess has to get fixed. If that powerplay was better last year, there could have been extra hockey during the spring time last season. But one thing is for sure, Pominville and Vanek have to continue to carry the load, or the Buffalo Sabres will be in trouble.