How to Fix the Buffalo Sabres’ Power Play

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Fellow Buffalo Sabres fans: we’ve seen enough.

Oct 2, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Buffalo Sabres head coach Ron Rolston looks up at the scoreboard in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, last night’s game between the Sabres and the Detroit Red Wings was just the first game of the 2103-2014 campaign for Buffalo.  And yes, this team is a work in progress.

But the Buffalo Sabres’ inability to do anything – and I mean ANYTHING – on the power play is a problem that hearkens back to last season, and I am over it.

So over it.

But I’m adopting a “glass half full” sort of attitude this year!  Rather than complain about the Sabres’ inept special teams, I am here to offer some solutions on how to make it better.

And by “better” I mean “less than so terrible that it makes me want to punch my kids in the face.”

See – glass half full!  Let’s get started!  

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  • lamarred1118

    Painful, just painful to watch, good thing that the baseball playoffs are on!

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Ha ha! You won’t be saying that come November, though!

  • Craig C.

    I had to laugh; these Sabres shortcomings sounds SOOO familiar. What’s that adage? The more things change, the more they stay the same….or something like that. Oh well, we can suffer again tonight, this time with the Bills. sigh.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I know, right? What did they do in practice during training camp? I see no improvements at all when it comes to being a man (or two) up. I could probably recycle a post from last year and change a few names, it’s so familiar.

  • davidmuscalo

    Power play aside, I thought the Sabres were quite successful in keeping Detroit off the score board. They were out played throughout the game, yet Detroit could not get that third goal. If Miller had been a little sharper, he could have stolen the game for the Sabres.

    As for the power play, you are certainly right when you aver that the wrong players are used. I’d keep Vanek, Foligno and Ehrhof, and then try to find the right players for the other positions. If Regier were smart, which he isn’t, he’d improve the power play by trading Miller and Myers for some face off talent and a good power forward. It is obvious, that unless something is not done quickly, we fans are in for a long, dreary season.

    I know it was only one game, but neither Miller, Ott or Vanek seemed to have their hearts in it.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      You are correct: this team was outplayed, yet kept it close. Exactly like last year, where one-goal losses were the name of the game. So, it’s not totally disheartening, but again, it’s going to be a year of “What ifs?” if they keep losing these close games while blowing so many PP opportunities, you know?

  • Doug Wilson

    Richard…you’re right on with winning face offs, no matter if you’re on the power play, kill or even strength, you have more possession time, which automatically increases your scoring chances and decreases goals against. To me, this is their major flaw and I bet it would turn a lot of those 1 goal losses into wins. I mentioned this to you back in the summer. They just don’t have that guy since Gustaad left and that’s the only thing he really exceled at. Based on your comment; “if he can win face offs, it doesn’t matter what other talents he lacks”…maybe, for the Sabres, he would have been more valuable than he is now to his present team. (I’m not advocating that they bring him back.)
    Where do we get a good face off centerman at this time of the year? They should have addressed this problem in the draft…too late now!
    I haven’t seen this kid Larsson play and he’s suppose to replace Leino tonight? Does he have any potential at face offs or is it too early to tell?

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I remember our conversation! This is why I was banging the drum all offseason, furious that the Sabres passed on both free agency and trade opportunities to address some of their weaknesses. Larsson had success in the faceoff circle during the preseason, so we’ll see if the Sabres use him on draws and how well he holds up. You’re 100% correct, though: this was an area the Sabres should have been looking to improve, but there’s nothing they can really do about it now.

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