You can blame the Sabres' poor defensive structure and abhorrent penalty problems, and you'd be partially right. But at some point, the goalie is there to make saves and often has to do it to bail out his team. It hasn't been happening for Luukkonen, Mike Harrington writes.
The Sabres handed an easy standing point to an Atlantic Division rival. And while Jack Quinn earned Buffalo a 5-4 win with his highlight-reel shootout goal, the Sabres' bad habits reared their ugly head again.
“I think you can see more and more confidence every week or every day,” Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson said of his defense partner, Dahlin.
Getting some points Wednesday in Detroit and Thursday night when Stanley Cup champion Colorado comes to KeyBank Center would be the best salve for the bruised feelings.
"You want your team to learn its lessons quickly, so it will be fascinating to see what the Sabres can do with an arduous schedule staring at them," writes Mike Harrington.
The Devils are proving Ruff isn't out of touch. As we saw in Buffalo, he could play a defensive-oriented team relying on goaltending (think 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2010) and he could have a team skate like the wind (think 2006 and 2007).
The Devils’ lead again ballooned to two goals with 2:05 left in the second period when Tomas Tatar slid the puck in on a 3-on-2, and they held on for a 3-1 win to defeat the Sabres in KeyBank Center.
And just like that, nearly three weeks of misery have been replaced with straight full-marks victories to get the Sabres' record to 9-11 through 20 games.
Black and Red is back for 12 games this season. No offense, Blue and Gold. Just a nod to history. And people were stoked about it.
“He would always talk about how, growing up, he wanted to play for the Sabres,” said Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore, a former teammate who remains a close friend.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen couldn’t leisurely make the drive from Rochester to Buffalo.
Now 11 years into a league-record playoff drought, the Sabres are 7-10. Their top players are performing; their inexperienced ones, particularly at forward, aren’t. Those issues, combined with injuries on defense, have led to a negative-16 goal differential during the skid.
The Buffalo Sabres' losing streak hit seven games Wednesday night with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Ottawa Senators in a game marked by the second-period departure of Buffalo starting goalie Eric Comrie.
On a night when it appeared that defense was optional, the Sabres got dumped by the bedraggled Vancouver Canucks, 5-4, before an announced crowd of 11,130 in KeyBank Center.
Determined to build upon a 38-goal breakout season, Thompson has made complacency his greatest enemy during the grind of the 82-game schedule. He stays on the ice after practice to hone nuances of his job as the Sabres’ most trusted center and wants to produce more than he did during his first season playing the position in the NHL.
No team in the league has the Sabres' number as bad as the Atlantic Division leaders do. The Sabres are 0-5-1 in their last six games against Boston – and 1-13-3 in the last 17 meetings overall.
The Golden Knights (13-2) extended their win streak to nine games with the 7-4 victory over the Sabres. The Sabres (7-7) have lost four in a row after falling apart defensively in the third period against Vegas.
Rasmus Dahlin will miss Saturday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning due to an upper-body injury, the club announced about 90 minutes before faceoff in Amalie Arena.
The Sabres fell to 7-4 in the opener of their road back-to-back set.
Power's determination to be better away from the puck, combined with the work he puts in on the ice and in the video room, led to his best performance to date Wednesday night. Not only did Power make a highlight-reel pass to set up the tying goal, but he helped shut down the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third period and finished with 23:51 of ice time.
October for the Sabres has gone well thus far, with plenty of glimpses of how March and April went. The real challenge is going to be November. And that's been a massive problem in seasons past, Mike Harrington writes.
"I think we're at the point now where we're pretty confident in our game and feel like we can go into any game and compete and win. It's been a pleasant start for us for sure," Kane said.
This is just the start of Power's development and, as the Sabres have learned from Rasmus Dahlin, it will be measured in years. Not in months or weeks.
"Get pairs together and get guys comfortable playing within our system or as D partners," coach Don Granato said Thursday morning of his immediate objective.
“A lot of time in the NHL, you go through ups and downs,” Hinostroza said. “When you’re in your downs, you’ve got to keep grinding and get better. I feel like I still haven’t gotten to my best, and I’m 28 years old."