The Buffalo Sabres lost their ninth straight game on Thursday, March 11. The teams loss came to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 5-2 contest. The Sabres battled until the final buzzer and were out shot 27-23 but hit four posts over the course of the game. It is difficult to use scoring chances to deter the severity of the teams loss. The Sabres goals were scored by Victor Olofsson and Tage Thompson. Thompson’s goal is one positive aspect of the teams ninth straight loss as it was the young forwards first of the year. In addition, Olofsson’s even strength goal comes as a present surprise.
Other than the four posts and two goals scored by the Sabres, there was no further positives in the loss. Regardless of any circumstance, nine straight losses is unacceptable. The team continues struggling to score while having no issue giving up goals. In addition, the loss leaves head coach Ralph Krueger on the hot seat. The team plays an unmotivated style of hockey and lacks any sense of emotion. It may be time for the Sabres to follow in the footsteps of the Calgary Flames. The Flames recently hired Darryl Sutter. Sutter is known for his hard nosed style of coaching, an aspect that the Sabres desperately need.
Injuries May Be Playing A Factor
Although nine straight losses in never to be excused, the Sabres have caught the injury bug. In Thursday’s game, rookie forward Dylan Cozen’s left the contest after taking an unfortunate hit into the boards. Cozen’s is amount a select few Buffalo players who has shown promise this season. His injury comes at an unfortunate time as Sabres captain Jack Eichel is injured as well. Furthermore, the Sabres are still without starting goalie Linus Ullmark. Ullmark was ruled out several weeks ago and was expected to be out for around a month. Captain Jack Eichel’s injuries are rather undisclosed, but it has been reported the star has an upper body injury and will be out at least one week. This has lead many to suspect that Eichel’s injury could be concussion related.
Aside from Eichel, Cozens, and Ullmark, the team is still without veteran defenseman Jack McCabe and young defenseman Will Borgen. It would be optimistic to assume that as the Sabres return to full health their play will improve. However, there is no telling that this will be the case. Even prior to the injuries sustained by key players, the team was underperforming.
What Is To Come
The Sabres goal as of right now has to be to snap their losing streak. The team remains in dead last place in both their division and the league. In a shortened season with little chance of crawling back, the team needs to find any positives they can. Their next contest is Saturday, March 13, once again facing the Pittsburg Penguins. The Penguins sit in third place right now in the East division and are in a tight race with their surrounding competition.
In order to get their first win in ten games, the Sabres have to slow down Pittsburgh’s superstars. Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist in Thursday’s game, and Sidney Crosby had an assist as well. Given the teams current lack off offense, they stand little to no chance if they cannot stop the star power of the Penguins. Saturday’s game will be played in Buffalo and puck drop is set for 7pm.
“From Our Haus to Yours“