Sabres By The Numbers…It Could Always Be Worse

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In honor of the team being tied for last place in the Eastern Conference, we’re going to take a look at some other league rankings for the “most overpaid, overhyped team in hockey”, the Buffalo Sabres (doesn’t sound as good as the “hardest working team in hockey”, does it? Ahhhh…the good old days…):

  • Of course the Sabres sit 14th in the conference, but did you know they currently reside in 27th place in the league, too. That means, provided the NHL Draft Lottery doesn’t move any teams around, the Sabres would pick 4th overall in June’s draft. See, playing atrocious, boring hockey does have it’s perks!
  • Buffalo’s inability to score goals (142 through 58 games) ranks them 24th in the NHL, and their 2.36 goals per games leaves them 25th. Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek (with 43 between them) account for 33% of their team’s goals.
  • The Sabres have allowed 173 goals against this season thus far, ranking them 23rd, while their 2.91 goals against per game leaves them 22nd.
  • The power-play, for all of the Sabres’ supposed weapons (including free-agent acquisition, defenseman and power-play quarterback, Christian Ehrhoff) sits at a measly 16.2%, leaving the Sabres 20th in the NHL. The Sabres have scored 31 power-play goals in 191 attempts this season, with almost 50% of those (15) coming from their two leading goal scorers (see above).
  • Always a team strength, dating back many years, Buffalo’s penalty-kill ranks embarrassingly at 24th, with an 80.5% kill rate. The team has given up 39 power-play goals in 200 times shorthanded. Conversely, the Sabres have only scored 2 shorthanded goals (Pominville and Jochen Hecht), and only 2 teams league-wide have fewer (the Tampa Bay Lightning have 1, while the Calgary Flames have none).
  • The Sabres, even with $2.3 million faceoff specialist Paul Gaustad winning over 56% of the draws he takes, rank 19th in the NHL with a 49.6% in the faceoff dot. Imagine where they’d be without this guy. Maybe he is worth all that money.
  • The Sabres have only four players with 10 or more goals this season, which ties them for last in the NHL (Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes), while two teams (Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers) each have TEN players with double-digit totals in goals.
  • Former Vezina-winning goaltender Ryan Miller ranks 34th in the NHL in goals-against average (2.82) among goaltenders that have played more than 20 games. Using the same criteria, Miller’s .906 SV% puts him again in the 34th slot. Both numbers are worse than the Sabres’ backup netminder, Jhonas Enroth (24 games, 2.68 GAA, .917 SV%).

So, there you have it, Sabres fans. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it actually can.

And, don’t forget about the OptionIt contest. All you have to do is register for free, indicate the Sabres as your favorite team, and you are entered to win tickets to the Sabres/Maple Leafs game on April 3rd.

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