Double Minors: Offense falls short as playoff hopes dwindle

The Sabres are inching perilously close to entering sell mode as they mustered only one goal for the second-straight game. It was the 34th game the Sabres failed to score three goals, Buffalo has won only six times when scoring fewer than three goals.

Ryan Miller had another fine effort that was squandered by Buffalo’s offensive output. Say what you will about Buffalo’s goaltending this season, but the one constant has been the lack of offense produced by this team. Ryan Miller had a substantial slump this year, but has been dazzling since the All-Star break – and even in a few games prior. Beginning with Buffalo’s 2-1 shootout win against New Jersey immediately prior to the break, Miller has allowed 12 goals in eight games. Buffalo has scored 17 goals over that same span. Keep in mind that number is augmented by the 6-0 win over Boston.

If the dire need for scoring isn’t giving Darcy Regier a perpetual headache, I’d be shocked. The obvious conundrum of trying to swap out current players for new ones capable of changing the Sabres’ offensive output is going to be challenging. But there needs to be something done about the inability to score goals at FNC.

The Sabres had their fair share of struggles tonight. Their penalty box parade handcuffed them and the lopsided penalty numbers (Seven minors to two) were incredibly skewed. Regardless, not capitalizing on chances is a worthy excuse for a few games, but this team has been all Swedish and no Finnish this year.

  • It is convenient the Marty Brodeur brings his A-game against the Sabres every game, even in an off-year. He robbed the Sabres on multiple occasions and has been sterling for the entire season series.
  • Based on the video, the Myers/Sekera pairing had a rough night. Obviously Sekera’s deflection and his gaffe at the blue line are glaring errors. But the pair as a whole struggled. I’d assume you see Myers and Ehrhoff back together once Ehrhoff is healthy.
  • Regardless if Thomas Vanek scored that goal or not, he and Jason Pominville remain the only two viable offensive threats the Sabres have. As I said, something will need to be done soon and I’m hopeful the trade deadline is where the retooling begins.
  • Zack Kassian still has a lot to learn. I’m not quite sure if he can learn it by getting nine minutes a night. He is showing flashes that he has the skill this team is looking for. I maintain that he needs a guiding force that can get him to play that gritty game on a nightly basis.
  • Second thought on Kassian. Is it possible that his recall was motivated by potential trade suitors? There is a chance that he is being showcased or that he will be stepping up to a bigger role if certain players are moved.
  • The penalty situation the Sabres have found them in recently has not been helpful. It seems as if they have been on the wrong side of the coin for each of their last few games. Tonight in particular was tough to swallow. Granted, Buffalo did it to themselves with lazy, offensive zone penalties.
  • I don’t see the Sabres remaining in a position to make a playoff push any longer. The few losses they have to give are evaporating quickly and they don’t appear to have the offense necessary to make a proper push. The deadline is looming, lets see what moves are made.

Game Summary/Event Summary

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