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Sabres have allowed the fewest goals in the NHL since January 1st


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19 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

You've got to weed those guys out. Okposo takes care of itself. Dahlin said he was bothered by the chant. If he in any sense led or agreed to the salute revolt, he has to go.

Any player or attendant who promoted the protest… and any coach who abided it without objection… has to go, imo… Don’t care who it is… They are toxic to the future of the team.

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1 hour ago, DarthEbriate said:

In the stretch between and including the Columbus games (12/30/23-2/23/24), the Sabres played 7 games against playoff teams and 14 games against non-playoff teams (aka the UPL hot stretch).

They're 11-10 in that time. [2-5 vs. playoff teams with both wins coming against LAK; 9-5 vs. non] This was the time to make up ground and they didn't. They played NHL .500 hockey.

In the next 20 games, the schedule flips. 13 playoff teams and 7 non-playoff teams.

We'll see a few things: 1) Does the team defense still have good shot numbers?, 2) Can UPL maintain consistently above-average play?, 3) Can they keep playing .500 hockey?

I did a quick look at their schedule and results this year....

Against the top 10 teams this year (in terms of point percentage), the Sabres are 5w-11L

Against the bottom 10 teams, they are 13w-7L

Against the remaining middle, they are 8w-13L.

The last time the Sabres WON against a team currently in the top 10 in the standings....24 games ago, in December vs Toronto.  Since then they have only played 5 games out of 24 against the current top 10 teams....0 Wins, all 5 Losses, outscored 15-7 (average score 3 goals allowed, just 1.4 goals scored)

Maybe the good news is since 2024 started, they have played 3 of those teams....gone 0-3 but only allowed 5 'real' goals in those 3 games (taking out empty net/gargabe time goals) So yeah, at least they have tightened up the D against those top teams.

Not surprising, it is what you would expect.  But as you and others have said, those of us who are trying to look at the 'good' side of things, these next few games/weeks will tell us a lot. They need to do better than 1 win for every 2 losses against the top 1/3 of the leauge.

Not related to the Sabres, but teams that are considered 'good'... Edmonton, has a similar record agains the top of the league as Buffalo (last time I saw someone post about Edmonton, they were 5W-10L against the top 10 teams.)  Edmonton is feeding off of the bottom of the league. Dallas same thing, they were 4W and 13L vs the top 10 teams.  On the other side of things...Florida already has 10 wins vs the top of the league, as does Vancouver.

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43 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Looking at discrete areas of performance is not the way to go. A major issue with this team is of course talent and roster construction. But as we saw last year they were close to achieving a very modest goal. And right now should be much closer to achieving that goal than they currently are.

The bigger problem IMHO is that under merely modest expectations, a bunch of guys spit out the bit. They wilted. And to make that flaw in the team even more dire, they couldn't deal with a spattering of boos at home when they were stinking up the joint and LITERALLY one night (maybe even just a period) where a strong minority of patrons called for the coach's head in a near historic drubbing at the hands of one of the worst and possibly THE worst team in the league. Just before xmas to boot.

You've got to weed those guys out. Okposo takes care of itself. Dahlin said he was bothered by the chant. If he in any sense led or agreed to the salute revolt, he has to go. Also he's dumb and overrated and I don't like the cut of his dull jib.

Caffeine... Ask for it by name.

I am happy that Dahlin was bothered by the chant.  I am not happy with how the team decided to handled it.  Actually I have never heard of any team reacting like this in the NHL.  But even the Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals/Cleveland Barons were less futile than the Buffalo Pegula's.  At least they got to die.   

I think it is detrimental to try to find out what each player thought on this issue, and then systematically get rid of everyone who agreed with snubbing the fans.  Instead install new leadership and move on.  

I still believe he is the best player on the team and someone likes the cut of his jib.  It is a good jib, come on PA lighten up a bit.  

DahlinandGF.webp.07539998c0fd13428e394454458a6866.webp

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Pimlach said:

I am happy that Dahlin was bothered by the chant.  I am not happy with how the team decided to handled it.  Actually I have never heard of any team reacting like this in the NHL.  But even the Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals/Cleveland Barons were less futile than the Buffalo Pegula's.  At least they got to die.   

I think it is detrimental to try to find out what each player thought on this issue, and then systematically get rid of everyone who agreed with snubbing the fans.  Instead install new leadership and move on.  

I still believe he is the best player on the team and someone likes the cut of his jib.  It is a good jib, come on PA lighten up a bit.  

DahlinandGF.webp.07539998c0fd13428e394454458a6866.webp

 

 

It actually did happen in Toronto a decade ago, I think Porous Five Hole had a post about it...apparently the Leaf fans booed the team off the ice and threw some jerseys on the ice after a performance they weren't happy with..and the players took exception to it.

I don't like it, but I don't think its a major issue either.  One side can say its a sign the team is spoiled, entitled, doesn't care about the fans....but the other side can say they team stands up for each other, has a tight locker room, etc.  Neither side of the argument is totally correct or incorrnect to me.  I think Quinn being hurt, Tage's shooting percentage dropping 40% since the last 2 years, and this team having no skilled/experienced Veteran on the blue line (who isn't WELL past his prime) are much, much bigger issues than the team saluting or not saluting the fans, and I think one does not have an impact on the other.

 

Edited by mjd1001
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4 minutes ago, mjd1001 said:

It actually did happen in Toronto a decade ago, I think Porous Five Hole had a post about it...

 

Ok That is one incident, but the Leaves Captain said it was not a planned snub and just something the players did when the ended a losing streak.  Was he backtracking, of course, but its one game and it was not sanctioned and defended by their Coach.  

Our captain (or senior veteran player) spoke under anonymity,  this practice continued for 2 months and on top of it our Coach brought up hurt feelings and contract extensions.  Big difference. 

Replace KO - it past time simply based on his performance.

Replace DG -  it is now due based on his performance, plus there are some good coaching candidates out there.

Bury the incident.  

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14 minutes ago, Pimlach said:

Replace KO - it past time simply based on his performance.

Replace DG -  it is now due based on his performance, plus there are some good coaching candidates out there.

It was a teenage stunt… so wouldn’t be surprised if a couple post teenage names we wouldn’t want to lose were instigators…

So, let KO and DG go for their performance… and lack of leadership in snipping that crap in the bud before it got started for over two months…

The team will see the light… An NHL franchise is a business … Hometown fans are essential.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Pimlach said:

So last year the team was strong at X and poor at Y and Z.    This year strong at Y and poor at X and Z.  

Do they look like a playoff team?  Not to me.  They look like a team that is getting very good goaltending, has trouble scoring, winning most of the winnable games lately, and that plays poorly at home and good on the road.  Lets se how they do at home against the Canes as they try once again to win 3 in a row for the first time this season. 

I suspect they will play well on the road games in Miami and in Tampa.  

Put up a 5 game winning streak and then lets talk about the improvements.  

Everything you commented on makes sense. However, I have a slightly different version/interpretation on how this season has so transpired so far. The problem isn't that we don't play well against the better teams because we usually elevate our games against them. What has sabotaged this season was that this funky and irresolute team didn't beat the teams that they should have beaten. We lost two games against an inferior Anaheim team and lost a game against Columbus at home where we were pummeled. If you take those "should have been" 6 points, and apply them to our record, our perspective on this team and season has a more positive spin to it. Don't get me wrong. Your record is your record. "What ifs" are for losers, and excuses are for losers. The point I'm trying to make is that this team dug a deep hole for itself and now it has to accept the consequences. My other point on this issue is that the difference between success and failure can be small. The onus for this situation is directly on the players and coaches. They simply underperformed while teams in the same strata played to a higher level. 

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18 hours ago, JohnC said:

Everything you commented on makes sense. However, I have a slightly different version/interpretation on how this season has so transpired so far. The problem isn't that we don't play well against the better teams because we usually elevate our games against them. What has sabotaged this season was that this funky and irresolute team didn't beat the teams that they should have beaten. We lost two games against an inferior Anaheim team and lost a game against Columbus at home where we were pummeled. If you take those "should have been" 6 points, and apply them to our record, our perspective on this team and season has a more positive spin to it. Don't get me wrong. Your record is your record. "What ifs" are for losers, and excuses are for losers. The point I'm trying to make is that this team dug a deep hole for itself and now it has to accept the consequences. My other point on this issue is that the difference between success and failure can be small. The onus for this situation is directly on the players and coaches. They simply underperformed while teams in the same strata played to a higher level. 

Yup.  Donny says they don’t handle pressure.   But it’s coming someday.  

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8 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

Well, nine.

The problem (in addition to expecting the Sabres to go red-hot) is that four teams ahead of the Sabres are also trying to knock off the Bolts.

To your point..not a good day so far on the out of town scoreboard

Red Wings win. Bolts win. New Jersey wins 

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54 minutes ago, Pimlach said:

Yup.  Donny says the don’t handle pressure.   But it’s coming someday.  

The injury to Quinn prior and during the season has had a significant impact. His injury has resulted in the lines being jumbled. I'm not making excuses because all teams have to deal with injuries. But he, like JJP, was going to take a step forward this season. He's going to be good. 

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15 hours ago, 7+6=13 said:

I'll have to look up the numbers but the bolded doesn't sound right. 

Here is what Money puck shows in terms of actual scoring against expected goals.
IMG_1088.thumb.jpeg.e2f2666ce2a4c5faec1722bef7f45aaf.jpeg

@mjd1001  how do you reconcile this chart?  It implies that as you suggest, Cozens is just awful.  Not comparing previous years, just not converting this year.  In fact the worst Sabre by a lot in terms of actual/expected. Notice that Benson is also way below expectations, which makes sense to me and also contributes to lack of scoring.  The person he replaced (Olofsson) was at the opposite end of the spectrum last year, scoring way above expectations.  I believe little things like this contribute to the lack of overall offense.   Where is the Ire for Benson for not only scoring less than Victor but below his even lower expected goals? Why does he get slack?
  The chart also this suggests Tage is fine in terms of execution.  While not scoring near the same rate of last year, this means he isn’t creating quality chances, or at least to the level level of last year. 

Edited by Broken Ankles
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10 minutes ago, Broken Ankles said:

Here is what Money puck shows in terms of actual scoring against expected goals.
IMG_1088.thumb.jpeg.e2f2666ce2a4c5faec1722bef7f45aaf.jpeg

@mjd1001  how do you reconcile this chart?  It implies that as you suggest, Cozens is just awful.  Not comparing previous years, just not converting this year.  In fact the worst Sabre by a lot in terms of actual/expected. Notice that Benson is also way below expectations, which makes sense to me and also contributes to lack of scoring.  The person he replaced (Olofsson) was at the opposite end of the spectrum last year, scoring way above expectations.  I believe little things like this contribute to the lack of overall offense.   Where is the Ire for Benson for not only scoring less than Victor but below his even lower expected goals? Why does he get slack?
  The chart also this suggests Tage is fine in terms of execution.  While not scoring near the same rate of last year, this means he isn’t creating quality chances, or at least to the level level of last year. 

Easy. Goals above expected doesn't win games. Goals win games. Tage and Cozens are scoring less goals than last year...and in terms of goals, they are accounting for the vast majority of the dropoff.  Again, what the fancy stats say they SHOULD score is good and all, but the team is not making the playoff because of actual goals.  More goals were scored last year. A lot more.  Where is that production missing, from where?  Goals above expected, just this year..might tell us something about who is playing well or not well this year, but I'm talking about production this year vs last.

And asking me about Benson, you are barking up the wrong tree there.  I have said many times, even earlier in the year, that I would rather have him not on the roster (or not as a regular at least), but I am just "OK" with it without him having many options.  Also in terms of ice time, and just as important, usage, ice time and usage on the PP and expections for production, I dont' consider Benson a replacement for VO. For me it is closer to Peterka is taking VO's role/PP time/expectations, and Benson is taking what Peterka had last year. 

Edited by mjd1001
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1 minute ago, Broken Ankles said:

Here is what Money puck shows in terms of actual scoring against expected goals? IMG_1088.thumb.jpeg.e2f2666ce2a4c5faec1722bef7f45aaf.jpeg

@mjd1001  how do you reconcile this chart?  It implies that as you suggest, Cozens is just awful.  Not comparing previous years, just not converting this year.  In fact the worst Sabre by a lot in terms of actual/expected. Notice that Benson is also way below expectations, which makes sense to me and also contributes to lack of scoring.  The person he replaced (Olofsson) was at the opposite end of the spectrum last year, scoring way above expectations.  I believe little things like this contribute to the lack of overall offense.   Where is the Ire for Benson for not only scoring less than Victor but below his even lower expected goals? Why does he get slack?
  The chart also this suggests Tage is fine in terms of execution.  While not scoring near the same rate of last year, this means he isn’t creating quality chances, or at least to the level level of last year. 

The statistic here just tells me Cozens and Benson have done the work but haven’t been rewarded whereas Peterka is having some puck luck. Anything within 2 to -2 really isn’t a story as it’s merely a margin of error.

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2 hours ago, thewookie1 said:

The statistic here just tells me Cozens and Benson have done the work but haven’t been rewarded whereas Peterka is having some puck luck. Anything within 2 to -2 really isn’t a story as it’s merely a margin of error.

  Cozens expected goals/60 is less this year than last year, but it’s close.  We had better hope the difference is bad puck luck this year and not that’s he’s a perennial below expectation performer.  Benson expected goals/60 is significantly below Olofsson’s efforts last year.  So it’s puck luck (actual below expected) and fewer quality chances for Benson this year compared to Victor in 22/3.  So question mark if you want to say Benson did the work.  Lastly, Tage’s expected goals/60 is way below 2022/3.  So not bad in terms of actual/expected but generating fewer quality chances per 60.  The combination of the two has resulted in his actual goals/60 cut in half compared to last year.  All of these are are 5v5 stats.  
 

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13 hours ago, mjd1001 said:

Not related to the Sabres, but teams that are considered 'good'... Edmonton, has a similar record agains the top of the league as Buffalo (last time I saw someone post about Edmonton, they were 5W-10L against the top 10 teams.)  Edmonton is feeding off of the bottom of the league. Dallas same thing, they were 4W and 13L vs the top 10 teams.  On the other side of things...Florida already has 10 wins vs the top of the league, as does Vancouver.

It would be interesting to know how that translates to playoff success.

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Strange the negative side like to say that the only reason our goals against is down is becuase we are playing weaker teams. IF so, and these teams are "weaker" hence our lower goals against,  then Tage and Cozens should be able to score easier against them then against the so called stronger teams. fact is, they are not scoring against ANY team ve yrwell. And yes, if they had scored anywhere near last season, that would make a huge differnce, as we hardly get blown out or lose by wide margins. One to one and a hlaf extra goal sper game average would make a big differnce overall this year, Most loses have been that close.

  As for Benson, I think that he should have been in Rochester. Seeing how our power play sucks and our goal sare down, I woul dbe playing VO every game and on the PP. The guy can score...if he were on another team who used him properly, he would be near a 30 goal scorer (he almost was last year). 

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3 minutes ago, sabrefanday1 said:

  As for Benson, I think that he should have been in Rochester. Seeing how our power play sucks and our goal sare down, I would be playing VO every game and on the PP. The guy can score...if he were on another team who used him properly, he would be near a 30 goal scorer (he almost was last year). 

Benson can't play in Rochester; he is stuck either in Juniors or the NHL

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16 minutes ago, thewookie1 said:

Benson can't play in Rochester; he is stuck either in Juniors or the NHL

Well that certainly complicates the Benson situation, as I think that we need VO's goal scoring far more then whatever it is that Benson has given the team. He certainly has not scored much, and is okay defensively, so overall he has not been much of a factor. If VO was playing and scoring at last year's pace that would make a huge difference for th eteam. Instead we have completely destroyed any value VO had on the trade market by deeming him not good enough to play for our team. I do bel;ieve that on another team that used him properly, he would scorre 30 goals. And now we wil get nothing for him in a trade as we have devalued him this year. 

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1 hour ago, thewookie1 said:

Benson can't play in Rochester; he is stuck either in Juniors or the NHL

Another reason he should have been sent back to juniors at 8 games.  Now we cannot add more veterans than we lose, as that could force him back to juniors. 

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1 hour ago, Pimlach said:

Another reason he should have been sent back to juniors at 8 games.  Now we cannot add more veterans than we lose, as that could force him back to juniors. 

The Benson dilemma of where he should have been playing was a tough organizational issue. The ideal situation was to send him to Rochester. But that option was foreclosed because of the age rules. My view after seeing him play is that from a developmental standpoint it was better to keep him up with Buffalo. But from the standpoint of what was best for this team this year, it would have been better to use his slot for a more productive experienced NHL player.  (The position you seem to argue for.)

Benson is certainly not helping this team from a production standpoint. But watching him play with intelligence and tenacity, he is not a liability. However, not being a liability doesn't necessarily mean that you are a sufficient asset. In the short run, keeping him here in Buffalo might have set this team back a little. But I do believe that it was the right decision because it did accelerate his development. Ultimately, the organization will get a quicker return on his value.  From a small picture perspective, this player judgment may have been the wrong call. But from a bigger perspective and a little longer time frame it was the right call. The Benson decision was a tough judgment call that I agree with. For those who conclude otherwise, I am not saying you are wrong. 

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12 hours ago, Broken Ankles said:

  Cozens expected goals/60 is less this year than last year, but it’s close.  We had better hope the difference is bad puck luck this year and not that’s he’s a perennial below expectation performer.  Benson expected goals/60 is significantly below Olofsson’s efforts last year.  So it’s puck luck (actual below expected) and fewer quality chances for Benson this year compared to Victor in 22/3.  So question mark if you want to say Benson did the work.  Lastly, Tage’s expected goals/60 is way below 2022/3.  So not bad in terms of actual/expected but generating fewer quality chances per 60.  The combination of the two has resulted in his actual goals/60 cut in half compared to last year.  All of these are are 5v5 stats.  
 

Isn't sorta the opposite? Maybe I am wrong, but aren't goals expected based on the quality and quantity of chances? So, Benny has had tons of good chances (I think we can all remember quite few) and has not converted (luck, bad shooter, whatevs), some for Cozzy. Tage, on the other hand, it seems like he is scoring when he should - which means he is not getting very many good chances to score.

Apologies in advance if I am making up the meaning of the fancy stats in my head and derailing the whole thing.

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14 hours ago, Broken Ankles said:

Here is what Money puck shows in terms of actual scoring against expected goals.
IMG_1088.thumb.jpeg.e2f2666ce2a4c5faec1722bef7f45aaf.jpeg

@mjd1001  how do you reconcile this chart?  It implies that as you suggest, Cozens is just awful.  Not comparing previous years, just not converting this year.  In fact the worst Sabre by a lot in terms of actual/expected. Notice that Benson is also way below expectations, which makes sense to me and also contributes to lack of scoring.  The person he replaced (Olofsson) was at the opposite end of the spectrum last year, scoring way above expectations.  I believe little things like this contribute to the lack of overall offense.   Where is the Ire for Benson for not only scoring less than Victor but below his even lower expected goals? Why does he get slack?
  The chart also this suggests Tage is fine in terms of execution.  While not scoring near the same rate of last year, this means he isn’t creating quality chances, or at least to the level level of last year. 

I agree with Robinson...he has had a LOT of good chances around the net and seemingly always shoots the puck right into the goalie.

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1 hour ago, JohnC said:

The Benson dilemma of where he should have been playing was a tough organizational issue. The ideal situation was to send him to Rochester. But that option was foreclosed because of the age rules. My view after seeing him play is that from a developmental standpoint it was better to keep him up with Buffalo. But from the standpoint of what was best for this team this year, it would have been better to use his slot for a more productive experienced NHL player.  (The position you seem to argue for.)

Benson is certainly not helping this team from a production standpoint. But watching him play with intelligence and tenacity, he is not a liability. However, not being a liability doesn't necessarily mean that you are a sufficient asset. In the short run, keeping him here in Buffalo might have set this team back a little. But I do believe that it was the right decision because it did accelerate his development. Ultimately, the organization will get a quicker return on his value.  From a small picture perspective, this player judgment may have been the wrong call. But from a bigger perspective and a little longer time frame it was the right call. The Benson decision was a tough judgment call that I agree with. For those who conclude otherwise, I am not saying you are wrong. 

Benson is a fine young player.  He was good enough to make this team as constructed today, which brings to light the job Adams did, or did not do, in the offseason.   

Adams did not move VO, who has lost more value this season sitting on the bench.  He did not replace adequately replace Quinn, since VO was not up to the job. Therefore, Benson gets the job as he was more ready and more effective than anyone of his highly coveted Rochester prospects.  

I would have preferred replacing VO with a solid veteran winger and sending Benson back to juniors.  

You would think that Adams will add veteran forwards for next season and move on from KO and VO, and maybe even move on from Z?   More likely he adds very little veteran help and goes with Benson and more kids from Rochester.  

It is hard to tell what is best in the long term, but we probably aren't go to win much again next year with a team this young.   

Nothing against Benson but I think he is not top 9 on a contending team right now.  Maybe he will be next season if playing a line with the right players? 

Every player is different.  Rushing players seems to be what Buffalo thinks they have to do to get put of this funk.  They rush them into the lineup, and then they rush them into big minutes and big responsibilities, often with little veteran direction.  So far many of these players are turning out to be very good players - a lot are very good players on other teams.  

Adams says he is all in to win now, to make the playoffs, but his actions and results indicate otherwise.  This will be a most interesting off season and should be make or brake for Adams.  At some point results matter.  

Edited by Pimlach
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