Yet another example of how statistics correct themselves if given a large enough sample size: The Buffalo Sabres are finally starting to score goals. The team has scored five or more goals four times in their past eight contests and has four wins and 21 goals in their past five games.
(Published by The Hockey News on December 17 – some notes by be dated…)
Poolies were already jittery about this team when star forwards Daniel Briere and Chris Drury moved on in the summer, so when the other high-scoring forwards stumbled out of the gate, many bailed.
With the latest surge in goal scoring, Buffalo has moved up to seventh in the league in goals for and have five players with more than 20 points and 11 players with at least 14 points. Tim Connolly has 11 points in his past nine games and is the central reason for the resurgence. He has been playing with Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville, both of whom have stepped up their production of late.
Maxim Afinogenov has been taken off the big line (where he had been playing with Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek) and placed with Paul Gaustad and Ales Kotalik. The move seems to have worked as he has four points in his past three contests after starting the season with 11 in 28 – a far cry from his point-per-game self.
Meanwhile, sophomore winger Drew Stafford has taken Afinogenov’s spot and has five points in six games playing with Roy and Vanek. Roy, by the way, has 11 points in his last eight. The stats are starting to correct themselves now, with Afinogenov and Vanek being the only players who still have some ground to make up. I anticipate they will make up most of that ground and make for excellent ‘buy low’ candidates…
Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: Cory Stillman sustained a minor knee injury Saturday and will be out fo