A lot has gone on since early October, when fans were pondering how Ville Leino, Christian Ehrhoff and Robyn Regehr would fit into the Sabres’ lineup.
A month and a half later, the plans have changed, and there are bigger things to worry about.
What would you have done prior to the season if I told you the following things would happen in the first six weeks:
– Ryan Miller will begin 0-4 at the First Niagara Center
– Ryan Miller will miss time with a concussion
– Tyler Myers will be benched for the first time in his career
– Ville Leino will have four points in 17 games.
Looking at the above mentioned facts, I would believe the Sabres would be struggling to earn points. However, that isn’t the case, and that seems to be getting lost in everything else that is going on.
Take a glance at the standings and you will see that the Sabres are sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference, only one point behind Philadelphia.
There are plenty of negatives to look at already in this season, but I believe many fans, including myself, are missing the most important part. Buffalo are 11-6 and have won five of the past six games.
They have had one slide that really hampered their record, losing four out of five from Oct. 22nd to Nov. 2nd. Other than that, they have gone 10-2.
Jhonas Enroth will need to continue to play like he has been in order to keep the Sabres atop the Northeast Division. Enroth is now 13-0-1 in 2011.
In his six starts, Enroth has allowed two goals or fewer in each of those games, totaling 10. Although he hasn’t earned a shutout, he played 53 minutes of perfect hockey after taking over for Ryan Miller in the game against Philadelphia on November 2nd.
While many fans have been all for Enroth, they have not been in favor of Brendan Shanahan.
The Sabres have had two rulings go against them already this year. Patrick Kaleta was suspended four game for an intentional head butt while Milan Lucic was not fined or suspended for his hit on Ryan Miller.
The officiating and rulings have had the Sabres’ brass an in uproar and many fans in Hockey Heaven have circled November 23rd on their calendars, expecting the team to make Boston pay for “running” its franchise goaltender.
The power play is ranked 11th and the penalty kill is ranked 3rd in the league.
When you think of the problems the Sabres are having just remember that for now, they are winning. Sure, it would be nice to fix the little things going on, but while they lead the Northeast Division, fans should enjoy the ride.