With the Buffalo Sabres on pace to become the lowest scoring team in the NHL since the 1967 expansion, you might find it hard to believe that it was only three years ago that Buffalo had a top ten offense.
That’s right. The 2010-2011 Sabres ended up 9th in the league in goals scored, a season after they finished 11th in that all important category.
As so many players have left town over those three years, so has the offense. In fact, only three of the top 13 scorers from that 2011 team are still with the franchise: Drew Stafford, Tyler Ennis and Tyler Myers.
The Sabres fell from 9th to 16th in goals per game in 2012, then dropped down to 20th last season before plummeting to dead last this season.
Buffalo is averaging a mere 1.6 goals per game. They have only one player with a double digit goals total, Matt Moulson, with 10. In five on five action, the Sabres have a measly 34 goals in 32 games.
While the Sabres are playing better in first periods, they still aren’t scoring much. The first period goal in Ottawa on Thursday was just the seventh time they got on the board in the opening 20 minutes.
Buffalo has been shutout five times, held to one goal in 11 games and managed all of two goals on eight occasions. So that’s two or fewer goals scored in 24 of 32 games. Only once all season have the Sabres scored more than three goals in regulation play. They got four on the way to a 5-4 shootout victory at San Jose on November 5th.
The scoring problems are across the board. Captain Steve Ott hasn’t scored a goal in the last 11 games. Other droughts include: Drew Stafford- 15 games, Marcus Foligno- 11 games, Brian Flynn- 17 games. Ville Leino has yet to score this season, which for him has been 18 games.
Cody Hodgson has no goals in his last six starts and one in the last 11. Matt Moulson scored twice in his Sabres debut but has only two more goals in the 18 games since then.
That Moulson two goal game was a rarity. Sabres players have produced only three multiple goal games with Hodgson and Mikhail Grigorenko also recording a two goal night.
The defensemen are part of the problem too. Back in that 2010-2011 season when the Sabres ended up 9th in scoring, defensemen accounted for 38 goals. This season, Sabres blue liners are on pace for a combined 25 goals.