On the eve of the final day of the Christmas season (which means that next week stores will start rolling out their Christmas 2015 advertising) we
take a look at the +/- stat – something the Buffalo Sabres need a grave improvement on for Christmas.
The Sabres have just one player that has a positive plus/minus statistic. Just one. Can you guess who it is? Ok, no looking, but I will tell you. Matt Ellis, and he has only appeared in nine games for the Buffalo Sabres so far this year. Alexander Sulzer, Luke Adam, and Brayden McNabb all have a respectable even rating. That is four guys on the roster that has featured, 29 players in at least one game.
There are a handful of guys that are between 0 and -5 – and those are to be expected on a hockey team that isn’t outscoring every opponent they come across. What is very troublesome for the Buffalo Sabres is having a guy like Mike Weber, who was finally supposed to get his chance after years of being buried in Rochester/Portland and being the odd man out in the press box when he was in Buffalo.
Mike Weber hasn’t proven himself to be a valuable defenseman this year, leading the Buffalo Sabres with a -19 rating. Steve Ott is not far behind him with a -18. With the number of breakaways that Ott has failed to capitalize on – his number could easily be reduced.
Seven members of the Sabres have a double digit negative rating, and the entire team is one or two shifts away from being completely in the negative.
The good thing about the +/- rating – is if the team starts winning, this number should start turning around. The ones that are left with a negative rating, are probably the guys that are costing the team. Right now, its just another bad stat in a horrible year.
It doesn’t help the team that they have a -45 goal differential. The only other team that comes close is the Edmonton Oilers with a -41. Can the Buffalo Sabres get to 11 players with a positive +/- rating before the end of the season?