The 2015-16 Buffalo Sabres are 56 games into the season, and still have a lot of questions when it comes to where the team stands with positional needs. The goal of this rebuild is to see a cup run soon. Whether fans want to hear it or not, if the team doesn’t start to improve their position in the standings next season, you can definitely expect GMTM to be on the hot seat. I dive more in depth on this topic here, if you’re interested in the debate, go give it a read. 56 games in and only 50 points, that’s definitely discouraging, especially considering how much better this team is than last years roster, which was tailored to be finish 30th, and had a motive to tank.
This year, the team was supposed to be better, more exciting, more enjoyable, more competitive, and more importantly more successful. The team has every thing checked off, yet they still find themselves in 29th place, according to our Tank Tracker. Why is a team that is so much more exciting, and competitive, battling it out for the bottom once again?
Buffalo finished the 2014-2015 season with 54 points, yes, that’s right, 54 freaking points. A negative 113 goal differential and an embarrassing 161 goals scored. At this time last year, 56 games in the Sabres only had 32 points, and a pitiful record of 15-37-4. Yet the Coyotes, and Oilers battled Buffalo all season long for last place. The final 26 games saw Buffalo go 8-14-4 which is a definite improvement, when you compare it to the first 56 games.
This year, Buffalo has 50 points in 56 games, a goal differential of negative 27 and 132 goals scored. Buffalo should beat last years goals scored by 10-20 goals but the stat that is an improvement, is the goal differential. This stat alone shows the Sabres are more competitive, as they aren’t getting blown out, and are staying in games longer than last year. The team has more goal scorers, producing on a nightly basis, and have seen solid goaltending play in stretches.
The Sabres are a young team, which is why they are still struggling to hold onto leads late in the game, and compete with the top teams in the NHL. A new head coach, a bunch of new faces, and young players, is definitely a recipe for more downs than ups and an inconsistent group.
If Buffalo finishes the season like they did last year (8-14-4) it would see them have a record of 30-42-10 with 70 points. That would be a major improvement, considering the last two seasons have seen them get 54 and 52 points with 161 goals scored and 157 goals scored. Being 12 games under 500 is definitely something to build off of, as the team can only get better with a few Collegiate players being available to join either the Rochester Americans or the Sabres roster next year.
Buffalo can make a few moves at the deadline, maybe doing another “Matt Moulson” with Jamie McGinn, which is trade away at deadline, then resign him in the offseason. The Sabres will need to bring in a few more players before they are ready to make a cup run. Bob McKenzie is doing his best to tease Sabres fans, as he mentioned he felt the Sabres would be the best landing spot for Steven Stamkos. Lets go Buffalo
— SabresOptimist (@SabresOptimist) February 12, 2016