BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — The Buffalo Sabres winless streak will last more than a month. On Monday the Sabres lost yet again, falling to the New York Rangers 5-3.
5 Observations from Monday's loss:
The Sabres are now winless in their last 14 games. For those wondering, this ties the longest winless streak in the shootout era. Three other teams have gone 14 games without a win since the NHL implemented the shootout [09-10 Hurricanes, 10-11 Islanders, & 14-15 Sabres]. The Sabres can etch their names into the history books for all the wrong reasons with a loss to the Penguins on Wednesday.
From bad to worse
Just a few minutes into the game, Sabres starting goaltender Carter Hutton left the game after a nasty collision. In the second period, the Sabres announced Hutton wouldn't return -- however they did not provide any further details on the injury.
From what we could see on the broadcast, Hutton wasn't putting any weight on his left leg as he skated off the ice.
With the injury to Hutton and the existing injury to Linus Ullmark, the Sabres find themselves with very few options. They now only have three healthy goaltenders between Buffalo and Rochester [Tokarski, Houser, and Luukkonen]. If the injury to Hutton is anything long term the Sabres will have to make a move.
First time since 2016
Quite frankly, it says a lot about the 2021 Buffalo Sabres that they had to call on a goaltender who hasn't played in the NHL since 2016. In his first game in nearly five years, Tokarski did a commendable job. He didn't get much help in front of him and the Rangers dominated the Sabres in the shot department. He made a few nice saves early on and only gave up one goal that I thought he'd want back [Rangers fourth].
The last 's' usually has a different meaning. But the Sabres need to simplify their game. It's so cliche hearing a player say after the game that they need to get pucks to the net but my goodness the Sabres need to get pucks to the net.
In the first period, they tried way too many cross-ice passes through traffic that just led to a Rangers breakout in the other direction. The Sabres aren't talented enough to try and play a finesse game.
The NHL trade deadline is three weeks away. This season is all but over, at least in the sense that this team isn't making the playoffs. For Kevyn Adams and the front office, any player on an expiring contract should be available. As for the players with term left on their deal, they should also be available if the right price.