Clichés key to snapping Sabres' scoring slump

Posted at 3:04 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-16 15:44:19-05

The Buffalo Sabres just simply can't find the back of the net. On Wednesday the team didn't practice, but it's not because they don't need it.

"It's frustrating and there's no way around it," Sabres captain Brian Gionta said. "You're not going to win many games in this league by scoring one goal. Over the last little stretch we've been held to one goal per game and we need to be better, find ways and not make excuses."

Since rattling off three straight wins, the Sabres have dropped six of their last seven and lost five games in a row. In those seven contests the Sabres have scored eight goals, averaging just 1.14 goals a game.

"We're making mental lapses," Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges said. "We're not making clean plays when we need to, we're not making the smart plays when we need to."

Gorges said right now the team needs to get their confidence back and things might finally start going their way -- but it boils down to some pretty simple stuff.

"You know sometimes you lose focus and that shows you how important every shift and every opportunity is. You hear guys talk about playing a complete game, and every shift and 60 minutes and all the cliches they throw at you, but when you break it down and look at it that's exactly it, that could be the difference in a game."

During the Sabres five game losing streak, the team hasn't really been blown out, aside from a 4-0 loss to Boston. Here's what the scores have been in those five games after two periods:

NJ 0 BUF 1
BUF 1 NJ 3

During the streak, the Sabres entered the third tied twice, and with the lead once, yet no wins. Wednesday, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said those are the games the team needs to slug out in order to get out of their recent slump.

Bottom line, the Sabres need to start scoring more than one or two goals a game. If they do, things will get better, but it needs to happen soon. Injuries are surely a part of the struggle, but by no means should they be an excuse. Even without Jack Eichel this team has players like Kyle Okposo, Evander Kane and Matt Moulson who have scored at a high rate in the NHL.

Sooner or later bounces will start to go the Sabres way, at least you'd like to think. Buffalo plays their next four games at KeyBank Center which sounds like a good place to get back on track -- However, this season the Sabres have only win on home ice.

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