Right now the Buffalo Sabres remind me of Cerberus the three headed hound from Greek mythology. In this case however, instead of a menacing multi-headed beast guarding the entrance to the Underworld, the Sabres have their own triple threat in Vanek, Roy, and Pominville.
Thomas Vanek (11g, 11a, 22pts) is tied for second in the NHL in scoring, despite averaging less time on ice per game than any other forward in the top 5 in scoring. Jason Pominville is right behind TV with 21 points, and the red hot Derek Roy looks like he has returned to his former self and now has 14 pts including 8pts in his last 4 games.
That's all well and good, but beyond our mythical trio the depth scoring has been non-existent of late. Luke Adam's 13 pts in 17 contests are a nice surprise, and being that he's a rookie who is playing top 6 minutes, there is no complaint there. However, Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis are currently goal-less through 23 combined games. I know Ennis is out but he generated little offensive prior to his injury, and Myers sloppy play at both ends earned him a seat on the bench last night.
Ville Leino, Drew Stafford, Nathan Gerbe, Paul Gaustad, and Brad Boyes have combined for a grand total of 12 goals thus far. Of the aforementioned five players, none of them are currently on pace for a 20 goal season as of yet. Staffords 4 tallies put him on pace for 19 goals, after scoring 31 last year!
Other than showcasing him in the shootout, the Sabres have yet to find a place where Boyes can flourish. He and Leino have very little chemistry with this team. Leino started to show signs of breaking out last week paired with Stafford and Roy, but that line has sputtered a bit, and was broken up last night against Montreal.
Drew Stafford is the player most likely to break out of his early slump in my eyes. He is shooting the puck a lot, with 47 shots (3rd on team) through 17 games, and actually led the team in shots (5) last night against Montreal. Eventually some of those shots are going to go in for Drew, and at the very least he is creating scoring opportunities by putting the puck on net.
On the backend the Sabres defensemen, while somewhat disappointing from a defensive standpoint, are producing capably enough on the offensive end. Ehrhoff is on pace for a 40+ point season, Leopold has 3 goals (more than most forwards), and Gragnani has performed well on the Power Play.
The real disappointment on the defense is Tyler Myers who in 16 games has been held to 4 assists and 0 goals. Sure Sekera is looked for to provide some offense as well, but given how consistently well he's played defensively it's hard to knock him for his offensive production at this point. And Robyn Regehr has never been mistaken for Bobby Orr...that's not why he's here.
For the Sabres to stay afloat in the Northeast division race over the long haul they will need to get more supplementary scoring. The Cerberus will continue to breath fire, but can anyone else get hot? Hopefully Tyler Myers takes his benching in stride and picks up his play, the Sabres can also look to get a boost with Tyler Ennis nearing a return to action.
I'm sick of the Miller/Lucic story all ready, here's my diatribe on it and that's all I'm gonna say. Ready my piece here, because it's the last time I'm going to comment on it:
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