By Paul Lane Sabres 101
By Mike Matisz
In most cases, the NHL's coach of the year is hugely successful in their campaign, making it into the playoffs with a high seed or just making a deep run with a team that may not be considered a favorite.
But what about Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan? The Sabres, who were a favorite to be dead last in the NHL, are just two games out of a playoff spot without making any drastic changes to their opening day roster.
If the Sabres are able to add a few pieces to the puzzle this season and make a run into the playoffs, or even just miss the playoffs, would Nolan be worthy of the Jack Adams Trophy or would he be overlooked by the usual playoff contending coaches?
Currently the Sabres have won 10 of 14 games and Nolan has the team contributing on all levels.
The offense has been scoring an average of 2.5 goals a game in their current stretch, which is their highest stretch this season.
Additionally, goaltending and defense have stepped their game up, posting a shut out and holding their opponent to two goals or fewer in half of their previous 14 games.Read more... Join the Conversation...
By Mike Matisz
The Buffalo Sabres entered the season among the favorites to win the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. Recently, the Sabres became one of the hottest teams in the NHL, going from worst in the league to just four points out of a playoff spot.
The Sabres have won 10 of their last 13 and are closer to the playoffs than they are last place in the NHL.
Despite their current standing in the league, the Sabres have always insisted that they are aiming for long-term success with the team, which is something that this team may not be able to offer with key players set to become free agents in the near future.
General Manager Tim Murray hasn't openly spoken about his plans for this year's team, but has been reported to be shopping players like forward Chris Stewart or one of his goaltenders Jhonas Enroth or Michal Neuvirth.
Reported interest in defenseman Tyler Myers is still high, however Murray hasn't moved the top-liner as of yet and may not be keen on doing so.Read more... Join the Conversation...
By Anthony Custode Jr
Before getting injured on Nov. 18 against the San Jose Sharks, Michal Neuvirth had looked like he was running away with the No. 1 goaltending role for the Buffalo Sabres.
Since his return to the team, Neuvirth has started twice, lost twice and allowed eight goals in those two games.
Sabres head coach Ted Nolan elected to go with Neuvirth in both of the team's last two road games. That move has not paid off. Neuvirth was denied a victory in a close game against the Florida Panthers, and last night, the team was dismantled by the Winnipeg Jets. Of course, not all the blame can be placed on Neuvirth, but he certainly is not playing at the level he was before he suffered the injury against the Sharks.
Before his injury, Neuvirth had earned at least one point for the Sabres in three of his last five starts. He only allowed more than three goals in one of those games, when the St. Louis Blues found the back of the net six times. However, three of those goals came on a five-minute power play to end the game, and the team in front of him had stopped playing. Neuvirth didn't earn a decision against the Sharks, but looked to be having another strong game, stopping all 10 shots San Jose had for him.Read more... Join the Conversation...
By Anthony Custode Jr
The Buffalo Sabres have won six-straight games at home, but are 0-3 in their last three road games.
Buffalo has been very good at home, scoring at least four goals in each of the last three games at the First Niagara Center. On the road, however, the Sabres are a different team. Buffalo has not only lost the last three away games, but they've done so in miserable fashion. The Sabres have allowed five goals in two of the three games, one of which resulted in a shutout against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Buffalo hasn't won on the road since beating the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 29.
The Sabres are having real problems playing on the road, and they will need to get that fixed in a hurry. Three of Buffalo's next five games are on the road, including back-to-back games against the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings. If they Sabres want to prove to be relevant in the NHL, winning on the road is a must.Read more... Join the Conversation...