Safe to say it wasn’t just the losses the Sabres were piling up that led to today’s shakeup in Buffalo; it was the way they were losing, particularly on home ice in front of their faithful, #suffering paying customers.
“Hockey fans here in Buffalo, they’re smart,” said new president of hockey operations and former Sabres star, Pat LaFontaine. “Our job…we are in the entertainment business…we expect nothing but [the players’] best efforts every night.”
Even last night’s 3-2 shootout win over the Kings — the team’s first victory of the season at the First Niagara Center — saw the Sabres badly outplayed for most of the game, as evidenced by the 45-17 shot discrepancy in favor of the visitors.
“I wasn’t really too impressed with the game,” said new head coach Ted Nolan. “It wasn’t a very exciting game. I think people spend a lot of hard-earned money to come and watch. The least we can do is entertain them and give an effort.”
Simply put, the Sabres have been dominated by their opponents. They’ve got by far the worst shot discrepancy (-14.8), and when it comes to possession stats like Corsi and Fenwick, they rank dead last in those, too.
Some of that, to be fair, is due to the lack of talent on the roster. But if you could quantify effort, it’s a good bet they’d be down near the bottom in that as well.