Oh, Atlas, Where Art Thou?

By Chris

A 2-0 loss. To the freaking Islanders? A team that’s scored 147 goals and given up 200? And Bill Guerin wasn’t even in the lineup.

The anemic Buffalo offense we’ve seen the last three games isn’t going to get the Sabres into the playoffs. Patrick Lalime isn’t elite, but he’s done enough to put the team in a position to win in each of the three games he’s started since Ryan Miller’s injury.

It’s not clear when Thomas Vanek is coming back, but one thing is certain: Darcy Regier needs to look at bringing in some scoring before the Trade Deadline on Wednesday. Because as talented as the players on the roster are, they’re not getting the job done.

Vanek was injured in the Feb. 7 game against Ottawa. He played just 3:07 that night. Since then (10 games), the Sabres have scored 23 goals. They’ve given up 30. They’ve been shut out twice.

Over the last 10 games:

  • Tim Connolly has 7 points, all assists. He’s a -2.
  • Jochen Hecht has two points and is a -5.
  • Drew Stafford has 6 points with 2 goals. He’s a -2. Both of those goals came on the powerplay against Toronto.
  • Ales Kotalik has six points, including 3 goals. He’s a -5.
  • Clarke MacArthur, seventh on the team in scoring, has 2 points and is a -4.
  • Derek Roy has 9 points, 3 of them coming in that Rangers game. He’s scored two goals and has an even +/- rating.
  • Jason Pominville has 1 goal, 4 assists and is a -3. He hasn’t scored in consecutive games since he scored in four straight games in November (Another fast fact: His only multi-goal game of the season came against Toronto on New Year’s Day. He scored a hefty pair).

The best thing you can say about any of those players is that they’ve been mediocre. No one has risen to the challenge since Vanek went out of the lineup. If anything is going to keep the Sabres out of the playoffs, it’s that no one has been able to step up.

The good news is that Florida and Carolina lost. However, the Canadiens and the Rangers both scored out-of-conference victories. It’s a long, tough road ahead.

Winning in regulation on Wednesday against Montreal is critical.

In Atlas we trust.