Sabres Enjoy Western Hospitality

Dobber Sports

2010-01-21

Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres are 8-1-2 in their last eleven games and sit only two points back of the Eastern Conference leading Washington Capitals. The NHL's most tenured Head Coach, Lindy Ruff has no true superstar to rely on, but he seems to be able to squeeze the most out of his charges year in and year out. This season, Buffalo's best forward so far has been Tim Connolly and the top defenseman has been the rookie Tyler Myers.

 

The team is winning on sound defensive effort, timely scoring and the stellar play of their All-World goaltender, Ryan Miller. The probable starting U.S. Olympic netminder has six wins in eight games this month and is 6-1-1 in that stretch with a goals-against-average of 1.75, a save percentage of 0.948 and one shutout.

 

The Sabres have absolutely dominated the Western Conference this season, enjoying an 8-1-1 record. Tuesday night's game against the Ducks didn't start so well for Buffalo. Patrick Lalime started and gave up four goals on eleven shots and was pulled after only ten minutes. Ryan Miller came in and shut the door, surrendering only one goal the rest of the way. Unfortunately for Miller that lone goal turned out to be the game winner.

 

The hottest Sabre right now is Tim Connolly. He is currently on a 13 game point streak and has recorded 21 points over those games. Interestingly enough, since the lockout, Connolly has scored at a 73 point pace (that's pace, not actual points!), which is right about what he is on pace to finish the season with right now. Considering he's missed 49 percent of his games over the last four seasons (not including this season), odds are very good that he'll miss significant time at some point this year.

 

Jochen Hecht scored only eight points in his first 33 games this season (a 20 point pace). Since then, he has scored at a 73 point pace, recording 17 points in the last 19 games. Prior to last seasons injury-riddled 27 point effort, Hecht had averaged 49 points a season over the previous three years. He is currently on pace for 42 points. Over the last ten games, Hecht has been lining up primarily with Jason Pominville and Tim Connolly.

 

Rookie of the Year favourite Tyler Myers just keeps getting better. He recorded five points in October, eight points in each of the months of November and December and so far in January, he has seven points in nine games. Myers leads the team in ice time, averaging over 23 minutes per game, which is about two and a half minutes more than the next highest Sabre. I still see him falling victim to a ro