Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Buffalo Sabres Are Starting to Turn the Corner

The Buffalo Sabres headed down to Florida in dire need of a win to put the critics aside and move on from everything going on in Buffalo. While they only came out of Florida with one win, they’re showing signs of improvement and may just give fans a reason to cheer once again loud and proud.

The Sabres were just 5 minutes away from leaving Florida with a two-game win streak, just 5 minutes away from a two-game winning streak heading back to Buffalo. Unfortunately some shaky defence cost the Sabres the game, but with a young and inexperienced team

you’re going to lose a lot of those close games. While the loss was devastating for the young Sabres’ team, they’re beginning to show signs of improvement.

The most telling fact from their Florida road-trip is their new found work-ethic/determination. The effort of the Buffalo Sabres (especially in the first period) has been called into question a lot this young season and while they still slept their way through the first period in Florida, they didn’t give up. In both games, they battled back from a one-goal deficit to take the lead in the third period. The young rookies are learning how to work and erase the deficit they find themselves in and work for a lead, they are no longer just rolling over and that’s a huge step in the right direction.

Even in Monday night’s loss to the Dallas Stars, the Sabres played one of the most exciting games of the season and if it wasn’t for a debatable call to Steve Ott, they may have beaten Lindy Ruff in his return. The Sabres skated hard, worked hard, battled back and showed some promise. It was a real positive game for the young Sabres and it got fans a little excited again.

On top of their improved work-ethic, the Sabres have also learned how to score more than one goal a game so that even if they allow an early goal against they can battle their way back and still have a shot at the W.

Another thing noticed with the Buffalo Sabres is the fact they are starting to come together and play as a team and the rookies are finding their place. From Nikita Zadorov and Rasmus Ristolainen leading the way on the blue-line to Zemgus Girgensons and Mikhail Grigorenko showing fans a glimpse of their bright futures, the rookies are starting to round into form. They’re starting to gel as a team and are making much smarter choices with the puck instead of rushing to get it off their sticks in an attempt to play “hot potato” with the puck.

Games like Saturday and Monday night are inevitable with a young team that is still learning. There are going to be rookie mistakes and veteran mistakes *cough* Tyler Myers *cough*, which cause the team to stumble. But almost 15 games into the season the Buffalo Sabres are finally rounding into shape giving fans something to cheer about. The Sabres may not win a lot of games this season, but now that the rookies have some games under their belts and Matt Moulson is here to make his mark, there are going to be a lot of exciting and close games ahead.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Turning The Corner

  • Jes

    Myers is doing good this year. Far better than last year.

    • Kevin

      I’ve said before, if the forwards are not coming back and helping out the dmen, the dmen are gonna be under the gun to try do it all by themselves. It takes all 5 skaters. And when 3 forwards are just standing there at the blue-line not creating open lanes for the dmen to make an outlet pass to chaos happens and the puck gets thrown out of the zone and the opposing team brings it right back in again. Viscous circle that usually ends in a goal, penalty or an icing.

      • Jes

        Agree with you on this Kevin. The only real reason our defensemen look so horrid is because the players in front of them that are supposed to be helping them aren’t. Honestly the only 2 forwards that I have actually seen play consistent defense are McCormick and Larsson. The rest are just coasters. Get Stafford out of here, he’s starting to rub off on the younger players. This move IMO will payoff huge.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          we need to get rid of all the veterans who don’t work hard before the rookies think they can get away with slacking off and losing

          • qwicwted

            I saw a couple of minutes of the game so I can’t really say. But all honesty I haven’t been impressed with McBain and I thought Stafford might step up – but he looks really lost. Instead of playing McBain, lets play Sulzer or McNabb. Instead of playing Stafford, lets get Tropp back in the lineup or even see what Luke can do.

      • Joe

        The problem with the dmen is not clearing out the front of the net which has mothing to do with the forwards. If they clear the net and miller can see the puck the opponent will only score probably 1 in 50 shots so saying bad defense is the forwards fault is false. Most goals this yr are bc the dmen dont tie up or clear the fromt lf the net to let the goalie see the puck

  • Jes

    CC I believe your column backfired on you today. All that optimism down the drain. Horrible game.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I didn’t get a chance to catch tonight’s game but from what I’ve seen/heard you’re right. It was bad night hopefully they can rebound and prove me right on Saturday