If there’s one criticism that probably won’t apply to Sabres fans this year, it’s the idea that they’ll be harboring unrealistic expectations for their team; not after what occurred in the first month of the regular season.
Loyal followers of the blue and gold have likely realized that this current Sabres team has plenty of struggles to still overcome. After a tough win on the road in Ottawa to commence the season, the Sabres fell flat on their faces with five straight losses, during which they accumulated only one point.
They had multi-goal leads washed away, they were shutout in a contest, they lost to division rivals, and they had a star player get taken out- things got ugly in a hurry for Buffalo hockey.
Then the Sabres provided some relief with two huge wins over Atlanta and New Jersey. Granted, a loss to Ottawa came in between, but the pair of road victories displayed a team that looked a lot more like defending Northeast Division Champions should.
They poured on the offense for 10 goals and held onto leads that they established early, unlike in previous outings, such as those against the Blackhawks. They even scored on the Power Play a couple times, which for better or worse, is a big deal with the Sabres.
“We’re disappointed overall how the first part of the season has gone,” Ryan Miller admitted after the win in New Jersey, “We haven’t established what we wanted but they were one-goal games based on some errors. […] It’s just patience within the game”
If there is any silver lining to the Sabres’ 3-6-1 record after nine games, it’s exactly what Miller said- most of the losses were decided by one goal. Ottawa went up by two after an empty netter in the closing seconds during their victory, and the only other games where the Sabres lost by more than one goal as the defeats by New York and Philadelphia. Fans can take some solace in the fact that the team has been competitive while they work out their numerous kinks.
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