With 11 minutes left in the third period, a frustrated fan sitting in section 316 started yelling "I want a refund" as he watched the Buffalo Sabres lose their sixth straight game, falling to the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. With the loss, the already basement-dwelling Sabres are now 5-12-4 and remain in sole possession of last place in the Eastern Conference.
Five observations from Monday's loss:
So close, yet so far #Sabres
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) November 21, 2017
If it wasn't already, this is really starting to get ridiculous. There is no easy answer to what has been going wrong but finding the back of the net is just not something the Sabres are good at.
In November, the Sabres have scored 19 goals in nine games played, an average of slightly more than two goals per game. Those numbers are inflated when you consider that nine goals came in two games.
Things get even more startling when you look at the games during their six-game losing streak. Since November 7, the Sabres are averaging just north of 1.5 goals per game. With a depleted blue line and a lack of talent, you're not going to win many games scoring less than two goals per game.
Too little, too late.
Also watching Sabres - they are inept in their zone. Draw up whatever you want, but zero compete without puck. Watch the 3rd goal by Columbus. Can’t win if you don’t sweat
— Ray Ferraro (@rayferrarotsn) November 21, 2017
How do you beat Sergei Bobrovsky? You get shots to the net. While Monday was not as lopsided as the Sabres last few outings, they still could do a much better job registering shots. Some of the Sabres best chances came off rebounds and weird bounces in front of the net. As the game went on the Sabres did a much better job pressuring Bobrovsky but by the time they really started to generate chances the game was out of reach.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) November 20, 2017
Not to sound like a broken record, but can we stop blaming poor goaltending for the Sabres' woes? During their current losing streak, both Lehner and Johnson have played well, keeping the Sabres in games they had no business in. On Monday Lehner was fair, making a few nice saves while allowing a relatively soft goal in the third period. Lehner did get some luck from the post and cross-bar but when you hold the Blue Jackets to only one goal you're doing something right.
Losing the month
Players told reporters after an abysmal October that they needed to bounce back with a strong month to get things back on track. November, however, hasn't been kind to the Sabres, who now fall to 2-5-2 with Monday's loss. Regardless of what happens in the Sabres remaining four games, the Sabres will finish November with more losses than wins. If this trend continues into December you can pretty much shoot any chances of a playoff run to the moon.
Ain't no stopping him
Evander Kane is off to a blazing start. Despite the Sabres scoring woes, Kane has consistently been the Sabres most dynamic goal-scorer, tallying his 12th goal in 21 games on Monday. Whatever he's doing seems to be working as his most impressive season with the Sabres continues.