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Injuries Prove Not To Be An Excuse

After reading Terry Pegula’s comments in the Buffalo News Friday morning, I decided to see figure out exactly what the Sabres lost from injuries, in terms of offensive production.

They have had 18 players go down, but how much has that hampered the offensive production from this team?

I’ve compiled a couple of charts to determine what would happen if none of the Sabres got injured. Of course, all of this couldn’t be done without a little help from Brittany at Sabres In Seven.

In this first chart below, you will see a list of 15 starters who were injured at some point this season. I have listed their stats for this season, along with their projected totals for the games that they missed.

Example: Tyler Ennis has played 15 games this season, and missed 27 due to injury. If he would have been healthy and played in those 27 games, he is projected to have scored nine points.

What Buffalo Has Lost From Injuries:
Season Stats GP G A Pts Projected G A Pts
Tyler Ennis 15 3 2 5 27 Games Missed 5.4 3.6 9
Jochen Hecht 16 4 3 7 26 Games Missed 6.5 4.9 11.4
Tyler Myers 22 3 4 7 19 Games Missed 2.6 3.5 6.1
Brad Boyes 29 3 7 10 13 Games Missed 1.3 3.1 4.4
Cody McCormick 30 0 2 2 12 Games Missed 0 0.8 0.8
Nathan Gerbe 31 4 10 14 11 Games Missed 1.4 3.5 4.9
Ville Leino 31 3 7 10 11 Games Missed 1 2.5 3.5
Patrick Kaleta 26 2 0 2 11 Games Missed 0.8 0 0.8
Andrej Sekera 36 2 6 8 6 Games Missed 0.3 1 1.3
Christian Ehrhoff 37 3 14 17 4 Games Missed 0.3 1.5 1.8
Paul Gaustad 39 3 5 8 3 Games Missed 0.2 0.4 0.6
Jordan Leopold 39 7 9 16 3 Games Missed 0.5 0.7 1.2
Derek Roy 40 8 16 24 2 Games Missed 0.4 0.8 1.2
Drew Stafford 41 7 15 22 1 Game Missed 0.2 0.4 0.6
Robyn Regehr 41 0 2 2 1 Game Missed 0 0.05 0.05
Total 236 24 41 65 150 Games Missed 20.9 26.8 47.7

If you total them up, it turns out to be 150 man games lost for these starters, totaling to about 48 points.

Stick with me.

Now, in this 2nd and final chart (I promise), I have totaled up the amount of points from the call-ups and replacements.

What Buffalo have received from call-ups/replacements:
Season Stats GP G A Pts
Zack Kassian 18 3 3 6
Matt Ellis 33 2 2 4
Paul Szczechura 9 1 3 4
Brayden McNabb 19 1 3 4
Corey Tropp 13 1 1 2
T.J. Brennan 5 1 0 1
Colin Stuart 2 0 0 0
Joe Finley 3 0 0 0
Mike Weber 16 0 0 0
Marcus Foligno 1 0 0 0
Totals 119 9 12 21

Remember, we determined that the starters would have put up 48 points in the 150 man games lost. Their replacements put up 21 points in 119 games.

If you want to make it an even number of games played….If call-ups and replacements played 150 games, projected totals would be: 150 GP, 11 G, 15 A, 26 points

In the 150 man games lost to injury, the projected offensive statistics would be: 150 GP, 21 G, 27 A, 48 points.

The verdict: Due to the Sabres injuries, Buffalo lost (remember this is projected) about 10 goals. This leads me to believe that injuries really haven’t been the biggest issue for the Sabres.

While it has obviously affected the offensive production, it has not proved to be a detrimental loss.

I believe the more important problem with this team is the starters underachieving. If you look at players like Ville Leino (10 points in 31 games), Brad Boyes (10 points in 29 games) and Drew Stafford (22 points in 41 games), that’s where the help is needed. That’s 42 points in 101 games from three starters, which is unacceptable.

“They know that more than you do,” Pegula said. “I hope you don’t think Drew Stafford is happy with his goal production, or Derek Roy, or Ville Leino. They’re pressing. They’ve played pretty well lately. If we get some consistency in the lineup for a period of time, I got to believe it will fall back together again.”

What was the point of all this? To show that while there are massive injuries, they really haven’t hurt the Sabres as much as many people think.

Players are underachieving and it’s caused this team to go into a tailspin. With each win and each returning starter, the Sabres could build up some momentum. It’ll be tough to break out of this slump, but they did do it last year.

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