The Milan Lucic/Ryan Miller incident is worth noting for a number of reasons (including the media attention surrounding it.) The hit and the ensuing 6-2 drubbing at the hands of the Bruins was a big hit to the Sabres confidence. Up until that game the Sabres were 2nd in the conference having started out the month going 4-1 (it should be noted that their only loss was against a playoff team, Philly, and their four wins came against non-playoff teams--Calgary, Ottawa (2,) and Winnipeg).
Not only did the Lucic/Miller incident begin a slide that saw the Sabres go 3-5-1, it contributed by sending Miller to the sidelines for the rest of the month. Jhonas Enroth was thrust into the starting role and, although playing admirably, his numbers came back down to earth. Combine that with Miller's incredibly poor November, and you have a team that went from 5th to 14th in goals against average.
The Sabres may have been able to overcome that had the team continued it's goals/game pace, but that dropped as well going from 2.90 (8th) to 2.75 (15th.)
Everything else pretty much stayed the same including their Eastern Conference/Northeast Division standing.
A parade of injuries which at one point sidelined nine regulars is coming to an end as the walking wounded return. Miller may be back as soon as this weekend and Tyler Ennis early next week. Others vary from day-to-day to week-to-week.
Regardless, the Sabres have a very tough schedule coming up against a boat-load of playoff teams. In order to at least keep pace they'll need to drop their goals against and bury scoring opportunities as witnessed by their increase in shots/game and decrease in goals/game. They'll need to do this with a few Rochester Americans in the line-up as well and, if rumor be true, trade winds swirling between Buffalo and Anaheim.
Year to date team stats
- October--6 (T-9th)
- November--13 (T-10th)
- October--12 (12th)
- November--27 (T 15th)
Eastern Conference Standing:
Northeast Division Standing:
- October--2.90 (8th)...(#1, Wash-3.78)
- November--2.75 (15th)...(Philly, 3.48)
- October--29.4 (18th)...(#1, Det-35.7)
- November--30.9 (10th)...(Det-34.9)
- October--2.20 (T-5th)...(#1, Edm-1.46)
- November--2.58 (T-14th)...(Stl, 2.00)
- October--31.9 (22nd)...(#1, Stl-25.9)
- November--31.1 (21st)...(Stl-25.6)
Five-On-Five GF/GA Ratio:
- October--1.43 (2nd)...(#1, Wash-1.64)
- November--1.12 (T-7th)...(Bos-1.71)
- October--21.9% (8th)...(#1, Ott-31.0%)
- November--18.4 (10th)...(Van-24.8)
- October--91.9% (2nd)...(#1, Pit-92.3%)
- November--87.6 (5th)...(NJD--94.4)
- October--50.8% (11th)...(#1, Col-54.7%)
- November--51.3 (T-9th)...(Bos-55.0)