We all know that the Buffalo Sabres are one of the worst teams in the NHL. That statement isn’t exactly a revelation. However, all of the headlines detailing how bad the team is have died down as the story is now all too familiar. You can only say a team is bad so many times.
It’s time to pile on again.
The Buffalo Sabres sucked in January. They’ve sucked for the bulk of 2014-15, but January was particularly bad. The Sabres have lost 14 games in a row and 12 of those came in the month of January. Other teams in the NHL have had some rotten losing streaks, but the Sabres are currently challenging the all-time record for most consecutive regulation losses of 17 held by the 1974-75 Washington Capitals and the 1992-93 San Jose Sharks.
Let’s look at the Sabres in January.
The club allowed 51 goals in 12 games in January. That boils down to an average of 4.25 goals allowed per contest. Offensively, the Sabres averaged 1.5 goals per contest. Those two averages alone should go a long way in explaining why the Sabres wrapped up the month without a win.
Now, please remove the children from the room. Are they gone? Good, because we’re about to discuss the team’s goaltending and it’s a terrifying sight. Shield your eyes!
Jhonas Enroth: 0-6-0, 4.43 GAA and a .861 save percentage.
Michal Neuvirth: 0-5-0, 3.67 GAA and a .901 save percentage.
Matt Hackett: 0-1-0, 4.10 GAA and a .892 save percentage.
Long story short, it doesn’t really matter who is in net for the Sabres.
As for the forwards and defensemen, there are a ton of negatives you could focus on.
Not a single player who played a game in the month of January had a positive plus/minus rating. After 12 games, only five players had an EVEN rating while the rest of the squad were deep in the negatives. Plus/minus isn’t a very reliable metric, but it’s pretty noteworthy when literally no one has a positive rating in January.
Chris Stewart actually had a pretty good month, scoring four goals and four assists in 11 games. Ironically, Stewart’s boost in production comes as the team continues to shop his name to other NHL teams.
We could go on for a long time berating the Sabres, but you probably get the idea. We may revisit this topic should the Sabres match the NHL’s longest regulation losing streak, but for now rest assured knowing that this team is horrifically bad and is well on its way to securing the top overall pick.