(Not) Welcome Home

What’s the reason for the poor performances on home ice this season? Wouldn’t the additions of Ville Leino, Robyn Regehr, Christian Ehrhoff and a revamped locker room be enough to motivate the team at the First Niagara Center?

Giving up leads in games has become expected at the FNC this season.

I’ve compiled a list of all the home games this year, and dissected what the Sabres have earned (or gave away) during these games, points wise:

10/14/11 vs. Carolina – Up 2-1 halfway through first period, lost 4-3 (0 points)
10/22/11 vs. Tampa Bay – Up 2-0 2:31 into game, lost 4-3 (0 points)
10/27/11 vs. Columbus – Up 2-0 4:51 into 2nd, won 4-2 (2 points)
10/29/11 vs. Florida – Up 2-1 with 7:07 to go in 3rd, lost 3-2 (0 points)
11/2/11 vs. Philadelphia – Down 3-0, lost 3-2 (0 points)
11/4/11 vs. Calgary – Up 2-0 with 18:15 to go in 3rd, won 2-1 (2 points)
11/8/11 vs. Winnipeg – Down 2-0, won 6-5 in OT (2 points)
11/11/11 vs. Ottawa – Up 2-0 2:25 into game, won 5-1 (2 points)
11/16/11 vs. New Jersey – Down 2-0, lost 5-3 (0 points)
11/19/11 vs. Phoenix – Up 2-1 0:51 into 2nd, lost 4-2 (0 points)
11/23/11 vs. Boston – Up 2-0 15:22 into 1st, lost 4-3 in shootout (1 point)
11/26/11 vs. Washington – Up 2-0 15:23 into 1st, won 5-1 (2 points)
11/29/11 vs. Islanders – Down 1-0, lost 2-1 (0 points)
12/2/11 vs. Detroit – Down 3-0, lost 4-1 (0 points)
12/7/11 vs. Philadelphia – Up 3-0 19:37 into 1st, lost 5-4 in OT (1 point)
12/9/11 vs. Florida – Up 1-0 17:50 into 1st, won 2-1 in OT (2 points)
12/10/11 vs. Rangers – Lost 4-1 (0 points)
12/13/11 vs. Ottawa – Up 2-1 15:44 into 1st, lost 3-2 in OT (1 point)

The Sabres had a lead in 12 of their 18 home games (not including the game in Helsinki). In those 12 games, Buffalo are 5-4-3, which is horrible considering they were leading each one of them at some point.

That is a 13 points out of a possible 24 with the lead. 11 points lost with a lead at home this season. If the Sabres could hold a lead, they could easily be at the top of the Northeast Division.

They had a 2 goal or better lead six times at home this season. The Sabres record in those games is 3-1-2. Even that isn’t good. Eight out of a possible 12 points with a 2 goal lead is disappointing.

It’s really aggravating to be watching the team lose at home consistently. Luckily, they have an 8-3 record on the road, but if they can’t keep that up, they may be in trouble.

The next eight games this month are conference opponents, four of them from the Northeast division.

Will the Sabres be able to turn things around on home ice or will this continue all year long?

Kevin Freiheit
Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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