First off, it's been a while since I've written an article (here or anywhere), so I thought I'd go for it again. Hi to all those I don't get the chance to "chat" with anymore!
With that out of the way, I went back to check the box score of all of the games so far this season to check out how the Sabres have been playing from a period-to-period perspective.In looking back at each game, I've taken note of:
1. The longest streak of periods where the team has played even hockey or outscored their opponent.
2. Single games that Buffalo has "won" consecutive periods
After looking these things up, it's very disturbing. After 57 periods of hockey, the numbers are damning. Buffalo has 4 separate instances of even or positive streaks of 3 periods, and 1 time where the streak went 6 periods. Since there are so few, I'll detail them:
1. 3rd period of opening night, a 3 goal 3rd period to win the game, followed by the first 2 periods of the Toronto win
2. 1/31 vs Boston - 1st period was scoreless, 3 goals for each team in the 2nd, and 4-1 victory in goals in the 3rd for Buffalo
3. February 5 vs Ottawa, after being down 3-1 after the 1st, Buffalo tied the 2nd period 1-1 and "won" the 3rd period 1-0 for a 3-4 loss
4. The last 2 periods of the Winnipeg loss, 2 even periods (1-1 2nd, 0-0 3rd) and the first period of the 2/21 loss to Toronto (1-0 "win" in the 1st period)
5. Our best streak was 6 games which spanned the comeback 3rd period of the Shootout win vs Montreal (2-1 3rd period to tie the game with 2 seconds left in regulation), all 3 periods of the Islanders game (1-1 score for both the 1st and 2nd period, 1-0 3rd period) and the first 2 periods of the 3-1 loss to Boston on February 10 (scoreless 1st, 1-1 in the 2nd)
On top of that heap of mediocrity, the Sabres have only ONE game in which they've "won" consecutive periods of hockey - the January 21 2-1 win over Toronto. Buffalo scored 1 goal in each of the 1st 2 periods before allowing a late goal to Toronto in the 3rd period.
So what's the point of all of this armchair analysis? Well, it just goes to show how miserable the team is in playing with any sort of consistency or dominance.