The Buffalo Sabres don’t light the lamp very often. Throughout 2015-16, the Sabres have been near the basement in terms of goals scored and continually struggle to put more than one or two past the opposing goalie. Head coach Dan Bylsma is surprised to see this outcome considering there are several players on the roster who have historically found the back of the net.
Via the Buffalo News:
“I am surprised that we don’t have more goals. Not by one particular person specifically, but I am surprised. We’ve created and done things that you need to do to score goals, and we haven’t always gotten them throughout the year.”
The Sabres have been an improved team this year compared to last, but their inability to win one-goal games has limited how far they can climb up in the standings. There are a variety of factors at play, but one which may be holding the team back isn’t one they can control – luck. The Sabres rank near the bottom of the league in PDO, a stat which combines on-ice save percentage and shooting percentage. They’re below the mean which indicates that the team should find their goal scoring touch in the near future in order for things to average out.
Ryan O’Reilly is on pace to score around 30 goals, but the team needs more from other players on the roster. They have to be happy with Jack Eichel’s early contributions (he’s second on the team in goals behind O’Reilly), but they need more production from Evander Kane, Tyler Ennis and several others.