The Buffalo Sabres are enduring one of the franchise’s worst seasons in the history. The 2013-14 NHL campaign started with some uncertainty due to the lack of experience most of the players on the roster had. They were the youngest team on the ice when the puck dropped way back in October against the Detroit Red Wings. Everyone knew the Sabres were going to have to deal with growing pains. That is the problem when most of your starting lineup was drafted by the team one or two years ago.
As the season progressed the Sabres’ struggles stayed the same. In the beginning the Sabres’ offense was offensive to say the least. They were getting tremendous goaltending from former Sabre Ryan Miller and current Sabre Jhonas Enroth. The two of them kept the Sabres in a position to win on most nights, allowing one or two goals each time out. The problem was the lack of offense. It is all well and good if your goalies can keep teams at bay; if you aren’t scoring, you aren’t winning. Plain and simple. Once the Sabres appeared to have some of the offensive problems figured out, the goalie situation became unsettled. Enroth who was letting up a little over a goal a game was now giving up close to three and a half goals which made it even more difficult to win. Ryan Miller was sent to the St. Louis Blues and here we are in the present day.
Buffalo is a team that is more geared to win the American Hockey League’s Calder Trophy as opposed to the Stanley Cup. Most of the players on the roster would either be in a lower league or on the bottom half of the offensive and defensive lines with the exception of a few on most teams of the NHL. Even with that, head coach Ted Nolan has the players that dress night in and night out giving their best effort on the ice. The unfortunate thing is that doesn’t always translate to wins. If you catch a Sabres’ game you are seeing a team that is in last place, but you are watching a team that is playing like they are on the verge of the postseason. At this point in the season you would start seeing teams essentially play for draft position. The Sabres are different because they look like a team that is playing to keep their jobs.