Yesterday evening I challenged a week-old tweet (whose sentiment had resurfaced) by Jeremy White where he proudly exclaimed that he didn’t care who the next GM was and that the top pick was all that mattered. I expected him to deny that he said it, or to claim he was misunderstood (I even had a great “well then the professional articulater should articulate better” retort), but nope, he clung to the notion like glue. In fact, he expanded upon it saying that even he or I could win a Stanley Cup with top picks. (Note that he didn’t go into any more detail on this particular point so in a very severe scenario like having picks #1-#5 for ten straight years, it might be true. Although you’re still going to reach a point where who you sign and what you sign them to matters a lot so you’re still probably boned.)
I have to hand it to Mike Weber. Not only did he play incredibly poorly for the duration of last night, backing it up with a CF% of 31.0%, and not only did he get out-muscled by Sean Couturier, who weighs 15 pounds less than him, but he followed all of that up by planting himself squarely in Enroth’s line of sight just so Vincent Lecavalier had an extra isolated corner of open net to shoot at and score on. He just screams ‘effective AHL guy who just tries too many things that don’t work at the NHL level and is not very good anyway.’
As many are aware, the Sabres have compiled a 6-0-2 record in their last eight at home. While it might seem like the team is finally starting to turn the corner on an awful season, unfortunately I’m here to provide a little bit of reality. The Sabres have been just as bad in their last eight at home as they have all season. Actually, that’s not true, they’ve been slightly worse.
The Sabres season Corsi For average at home is 44.4% which means that they’re attempting 44.4% of the shots on net at home. That’s slightly better than their away mark of 44.1%, and slightly further above their 43.4% Corsi For during their point streak. In terms of shots that actually reach the net, aka shots on goal, the Sabres fare a little better hitting 25.2 on average at home, 27.6 on the road, and 26.5 during their point streak. Shots against are 32.6 at home, 35.9 on the road, and 33.6 during their streak.
What’s the difference then? Absolutely absurd goaltending. Sabres goaltenders have combined to produce a .959 save percentage over that span with Miller tallying a .962 in six games and Enroth hitting .951 in the other two. Their season long home average is .922, which is still pretty damn good. The team has also shot 7.55% in their last eight, slightly up from their 6.94% home average.
Our team still sucks, but our goaltenders are amazing. So we’ve got that goin’ for us…which is nice.
Oh lord, and I thought Sal Maiorana’s racially charged tweet (and since he was so quick to highlight what a consummate professional Russell Wilson is, I’m guessing Sal knew he was heading into dangerous waters) about Colin Kaepernick and his backwards hat was going to be yesterday’s stupid media moment of the day. (Author’s Note: As racism is worse than a big fucking moron with an obvious agenda, I’m allowing it to retain its crown.)
I like that when the Sabres get massively outshot, I don’t have to look for a picture, I can just upload the Fenwick chart. Sadly that is not the case today.
I was all set to do an advanced statistical analysis on this, but it’s probably not necessary. To most reasonable minds, if you took the Sabres roster and eliminated anyone that wouldn’t play for a contender, you’d probably get something like this:
XXXXX – XXXXX – XXXXX
XXXXX – XXXXX – Matt Moulson
Marcus Foligno – Zemgus Girgensons – Steve Ott
Brian Flynn – XXXXX – XXXXX
Christian Ehrhoff – XXXXX
Mark Pysyk – XXXXX
XXXXX – XXXXX