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5 Observations: Jets topple Sabres 7-4

5 Observations: Jets topple Sabres 7-4
Posted at 9:36 PM, Jan 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 22:46:47-05

With their 7-4 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, the Sabres now have three separate five-game losing streaks this season. Buffalo falls to 10-24-9 and remain in the basement of the Eastern Conference. 

Five observations from Tuesday's loss: 

Not much to like 

Flat would be a good way to summarize the Sabres' efforts on Tuesday as they were outplayed in almost every aspect of the game. Winnipeg is undoubtedly a more talented team and after just a few minutes it looked like the Sabres were spending more time chasing their opponent than applying pressure. 

Games like this make you realize that the Sabres desperately need to get faster. Most of the Jets' opportunities were created by their quickness. 

The trade

We're still talking about the Kane trade, huh? Hear me out....

Tuesday was actually Tyler Myers first game in Buffalo since he was traded to the Jets in 2015. Injuries have plagued much of the past two season for Myers but this year he has looked more like the player Sabres' fans watched in his rookie season. Myers has 22 points [5G, 17A] in 43 games and ranks in the top-ten among defensemen with 14 power play points. 

Also in the Jets lineup on Tuesday, former Sabres first-round pick Joel Armia, who has 18 points in 41 games. 

Not to rub salt in the wound but former Sabres defenseman Dmitry Kulikov has also had a much improved season with the Jets, tallying 10 points in 41 games. Last season with Buffalo, Kulikov had five points in 47 games. To be clear, he wasn't part of the aforementioned trade, I just wanted to give a quick update. 

Right where he belongs

Brendan Guhle absolutely has the talent to play in Buffalo for the remainder of the year. There is a very good chance he'll be returned to Rochester at some point down the road. If that happens, it won't be because he's not good enough to play on this team. 

One of his biggest mistakes came on his second shift, where he took a hooking penalty that eventually cost the Sabres a goal. Once he returned from the box he made his presence felt, jumping into the rush on numerous occasions while looking responsible in his own end. By no means was it a perfect evening for Guhle but It was a solid season debut, especially for someone who has only played three NHL games. 

Guhle still needs some maturing and will make mistakes but that just comes with the territory. It will be interesting to see how the Sabres handle things when Victor Antipin is ready to return. 

Lousy night for Lehner

Rarely do I think that Robin Lehner deserves the amount of criticism he often gets. That wasn't the case on Tuesday.

Lehner did his team no favors, allowing three goals on 17 shots. He was pulled just minutes into the second period, replaced by backup Chad Johnson. To be fair, Lehner was screened by teammates on the Jets' first two goals. Despite what some have said, Lehner has had a pretty good year, at least in my opinion.  Every once in a while you'll have a bad night. It's not like he has an all-star defensive unit in front of him.

After coming in for relief, Johnson also allowed three goals. It wasn't a banner night for Sabres' goaltenders. 

Playing with fire 

This stat was pretty startling. When the Sabres trail after the first period they are 2-15-2 this season. Most teams struggle when playing from behind but this is an outright terrifying stat if you're a Sabres fan.