Sabres’ performance against backup goaltenders

Over the past couple of seasons, I’ve heard a lot of talk about the Sabres and how they don’t play as well in front of opposing backup goaltenders. I started to take a mental note of every time this happened. In my mind, it seemed like the losses were adding up, and I started to believe this was a big problem for Buffalo.

This week I decided to do some research and figure just how poorly the Sabres have played against backup goaltender, just for the past two seasons. I was expecting to see a poor record when I finished, but the results were different than I anticipated.

After collecting some data, I found that the Sabres have actually performed very well against backups, especially during the 2011-12 season. Here is Buffalo’s record when facing backups since 2010:

SV %

As you can see above, the Sabres have had a winning record against backups in recent years. They went 13-7-5 in 2010-11, winning just over half of the games played. Last year, the Sabres improved and posted a 17-5 record.

To break it down further, I have created a few charts that show a game by game look at exactly when the Sabres faced a backup and the result of that game.

These are games in which a backup goaltender started the game. I did not include games in which a backup came in because the started was pulled or injured.

Click on the tabs below to see a different year.

10/16/10L 4-3Marty Turco38-41
10/20/10W 4-1Chris Mason38-42
10/29/10L 4-3 (OT)Chris Mason25-28
10/30/10L 4-0Andrew Raycroft34-34
11/10/10W 5-4 (SO)Johan Hedberg38-42
11/11/10L 3-2 (OT)Martin Biron29-31
11/13/10W 3-2 (OT)Braden Holtby24-27
11/15/10W 4-3 (OT)Cory Schneider35-39
11/19/10W 4-1Jonathan Bernier22-26
11/20/10L 2-1Mike Smith29-30
11/26/10W 3-1Jonas Gustavsson25-28
12/3/10W 5-0Mathieu Garon32-37
12/15/10W 3-2Tuukka Rask32-35
12/18/10L 3-1Mike Smith22-23
12/21/10W 5-2Curtis McElhinney37-42
1/6/10W 3-0Antero Niittymaki19-22
1/8/10W 2-1 (OT)Jason LaBarbera30-32
1/20/11W 4-2Tuukka Rask29-33
1/21/11L 5-2Kevin Poulin & Nathan Lawson26-38
2/13/11L 7-6 (OT)Al Montoya & Mikko Koskinen22-28
2/18/11L 3-0Ty Conklin25-25
2/20/11L 2-1Semyon Varlamov28-29
2/26/11L 3-2 (SO)Joey MacDonald30-32
3/6/11W 3-2 (OT)Jose Theodore30-33
3/20/11L 4-3 (OT)Anders Lindback35-38
Totals:13-7-5GAA: 3.24SV%: .901 (734-815)


10/8/11W 4-2Jonathan Bernier22-26
11/4/11W 2-1Henrik Karlsson42-44
11/18/11W 1-0Brian Boucher19-20
11/25/11L 5-1Curtis Sanford28-29
11/29/11L 2-1Al Montoya30-31
12/3/11W 3-2Anders Lindback11-14
12/9/11W 2-1 (OT)Scott Clemmensen14-16
12/10/11L 4-1Martin Biron32-33
12/26/11W 4-2Michal Neuvirth19-23
2/4/12W 4-3 (SO)Al Montoya34-36
2/8/12W 6-0Tuukka Rask7-10
2/19/12W 6-2Brent Johnson9-12
2/21/12W 2-1Kevin Poulin35-37
2/24/12W 2-1 (SO)Tuukka Rask22-23
3/10/12W 4-3 (SO)Ben Bishop34-37
3/12/12W 3-2 (OT)Peter Budaj32-35
3/19/12W 7-3Dustin Tokarski11-15
3/24/12W 3-1Josh Harding34-37
3/27/12W 5-1Braden Holtby12-15
3/30/12L 5-3Brent Johnson25-28
3/31/12L 4-3Ben Scrivens29-32
4/3/12W 6-5 (OT)Ben Scrivens39-45
Totals:17-5-0GAA: 2.64SV%: .903


1/21/13W 2-1Ben Scrivens18-20
1/25/13L 3-1Dan Ellis40-42
1/27/13L 3-2Michal Neuvirth22-24
2/7/13W 5-4 (SO)Peter Budaj34-38
2/10/13L 3-1Anton Khudobin25-26
2/15/13W 4-2Anton Khudobin22-26
2/21/13L 3-1Ben Scrivens31-32

Previous articleBuffalo blanked in Ottawa
Next articlePoll: Most Disappointing Sabre?
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.