The Dirty Thirty, Jhonas Enroth’s Helmet And The Buffalo Sabres


One month.

I’m sure as a Buffalo Sabres fan you’re hoping I was saying “one month until the start of the season” or begging it was “one month until the end of the season.”

Jan 30, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Buffalo Sabres goaltender

Matt Hackett

(31) stops a shot on net by the Vancouver Canucks during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Nope, we still have two months of whatever it is that is going on in Buffalo. Facing the whole month of January, the Buffalo Sabres have been held pointless in the past 14 games, a franchise worst. Since late December, Buffalo has been stuck at 31 points, with no movement from those points in that timeframe.

When the amount of games you have lost is almost half of the total amount of points you have, you know you have a problem. And that problem is that Buffalo is closing in on a record-worst season.

With no wins since a 4-3 shootout win against the Islanders on December 27th and the last time they won in regulation was a 4-3 victory over Calgary on December 11th.

In this skid, Buffalo has been horribly outscored almost three times, going 61 goals against and 21 goals for.

Despite holding a second place spot in blocked shots, defenseman Josh Gorges is tied for last in the league in plus/minus with a minus-27. It’s obvious how much Buffalo relies on the work ethic that Gorges provides, but it’s so much that he is having a tough time going at it.

They look to solve that problem tonight when they travel to Quebec to take on the Montreal Canadiens.

Not the best team to go against when you’re trying to break a losing streak, Montreal currently sits in second place in the Atlantic Division, second in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the league. However, Buffalo has had success on the road against the Habs, holding a 7-3-0 record over the past 10 games in Montreal.

After what looked to be a promising end to November and start to December, Buffalo has fallen victim to a series of great games by Jhonas Enroth. Now that the wheel has fallen off of the wagon, Buffalo has come crashing down–hard.

Enroth was first off of the ice after this mornings skate, he is slated to be the starter, giving Matt Hackett the bench spot. Also, when Enroth takes the net, he will plan on debuting a new mask.

Enroth’s new mask will feature a white based background, accented with the crossed sabres at the chin area. Along the top of the helmet, a blue and gold brick wall curves up and over. On the side, a rough looking circle logo graces the remaining canvas.

Buffalo will still be without Cody McCormick, Marcus Foligno and Michal Neuvirth who are losing more man games to injuries.

Looking at the silver lining in this mess, Chris Stewart has been definitely playing great hockey as of late. In his past 19 games, the 27-year old has recorded a point in 12 of those games, going for six goals and eight assists for 14 points while also averaging 16:07. Playing tonight, Stewart can match another 20 game streak with an average 16 minutes of ice time set back in February to March of 2013.

On the defense, the presence of Tyler Myers has been a blessing for this struggling team. His average ice time of 25:13 leads all Sabres and is good for a ninth place rank in the league. Impressive considering his injury set him behind 10 games.

Brian Gionta gets another chance against his old team tonight, hoping to kickstart this Sabres offense. Tyler Ennis has had success over Montreal, scoring seven goals and seven assists against the Canadiens over the past 15 games, including a goal and three assists over his last three games against the Habs.

Buffalo is the sole possessor of the 30th and final spot of the league, with a seven point gap between them and the Edmonton Oilers in the race for McEichel. This marks an interesting race towards the end of the season.

Puck drop is at 7 p.m. tonight.