Final Score – 4-1 CHI
Arrow Up – Eichel Scored Again
In a night where there wasn’t a lot of good to take away, Jack Eichel scored his fifth goal in the last two games.
Now with 13 goals on the season, the Sabres captain is on pace for a 50-goal season, obviously there is a lot of games left but it seems Jack is showing that he can be an elite goal scorer as well as an elite playmaker.
Arrow Down – Offensive Depth
As stated, Eichel has 5 goals in his last two games, but unfortunately he has been the only Sabre to score in the last 6 periods.
Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart are the top three scorers for the Sabres, and for the most part if one of those three don’t score…the team doesn’t score.
The team is severely lacking in their offensive depth, Marcus Johansson is a very nice player, but he alone isn’t enough to get the top-6 to a respectable NHL level.
Tage Thompson made his season debut, but left the game with an ugly looking shoulder injury. Now the Sabres have 2 healthy players in Rochester on NHL contracts.
If that isn’t enough, the depth problem extends outside of the pro organizations, the Sabres don’t have any legitimate top-6 forward prospects (aside from Cozens) in the organization.
The first 10-games helped mask the Sabres depth problem, but now they’ve come down to earth. Something needs to change and change fast otherwise the Sabres will not only miss the playoffs but they’ll be drafting in the top-10 yet again.
Arrow Down – Special Teams
The Sabres powerplay started the season red hot, and helped the team see some early season success.
Now the powerplay is ice cold, they haven’t scored a goal in 17 attempts and went 0/4 against the Blackhawks.
The PK went 4/5 last night, but is generally terrible as well.
Special teams only account for a small portion of the game, but the first 10-games showed how crucial they can be.
If the GM insists on staying with the same old lineup, the coach will have to find a way to get the special teams going in order to help get the team on a better path.
It won’t turn the team into a cup contender but fixing the PP and PK will help the team compete on a nightly basis again.
Arrow Down – Carter Hutton
Carter Hutton has put together back-to-back depressing performances. The Sabres goaltender has faced 56 shots in the last two games, only stopping 47 of them (0.839 SV%).
While you can’t place all of the blame on the goalie, it’s not encouraging to see your goalie give up a goal on occasions that a big save is needed.
The Sabres head back home to host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday and there is no excuse to lose that game.
Minnesota is a struggling hockey team and while the Sabres aren’t great they need to beat teams lower than them in the standings if they truly believe they can contend with anyone this season.