Sunday, November 1, 2015

2015-16 Individual Stats--October

Reprinted with permission from
Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma spent the first month of the season mixing and matching his players in an effort to find chemistry amongst his forward ranks. He started out the season relying upon pairs to anchor lines but injuries to two top-six players threw a bit of a monkey-wrench into his plans. Left wing Evander Kane had been paired with 2015 second-overall pick Jack Eichel in Bylsma's scheme, but week ago he went down with a knee injury and will be out 4-6 weeks. Then on Tuesday right wing Tyler Ennis suffered a lower-body injury in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers. He had been paired with Ryan O'Reilly to this point of the season.
Two injuries to top-six forwards could have provided a set-back, but instead the rest of the team stepped up with two very strong performances on back-to-back nights. Even though they lost on Thursday to the Pittsburgh Penguins they controlled much of the game pumping a season-high 53 shots on net including 24 in the third period. And in last night's 3-1 win over Phildelphia they once again controlled much of the game with a forecheck that made the Flyers envious.

For one four-minute stretch in the second period last night, Buffalo had the Flyers hemmed in to the point wher Philadelphia got the puck as far as the Sabres blueline twice. The rest of the time was spent in Flyers zone resulting in two penalties including a 5-on-3 for Buffalo for 1:06. The Sabres couldn't convert, however, but with the amount of skill and the way the team has possessed the puck, one senses it's only a matter of time if they continue to play that way.

Except for O'Reilly.

The 6'0" 212 lb. center that GM Tim Murray traded for and signed to an extension in the off season has been on fire. As seen below he leads the team in every statistical category on offense and as of right now he leads the league in powerplay points (7,) is top-five in points (13) and top-10 in assists (9.)

O'Reilly has been dominant for Buffalo and in doing so has helped his linemates get better. Bottom-six forward Nic Deslauriers, who was bumped up to O'Reilly's line because of injury, is having a ball right now and has potted three goals. O'Reilly's five primary assists lead the team and players like Matt Moulson, Kane, Ennis and Foligno have all benefitted from O'Reilly's presence on the power play.

Interesting to note, however, that it took a while for the team to get going five-on-five. At one point four games into the season the team managed only eight goals, with five of them on the powerplay. That translates into some dismal plus/minus ratings, but as the month wore on the team started scoring more at even strength. Early on Sam Reinhart was the only plus-player on the team, but now, at least, those numbers are getting better as four players are even with two others--young d-men Mark Pysyk and Jake McCabe--at a minus-1 rating.

We came into this season with expectations of a strong offense and middling back-end and it had been the opposite until recently. If the Sabres continue playing the way they have been, those original predictions will hold. But for now the individual players will just need to follow O'Reilly's lead--keep skating and keep working hard and the points will come.

Buffalo Sabres Individual Stats:

--October:  O'Reilly, 13; Ennis, Moulson, Rasmus Ristolainen, Cody Franson, 5

--October: O'Reilly, Eichel, 4; Ennis Moulson, 3

Powerplay Goals
--October:  O'Reilly, 3; Eichel, Ennis, 2

--October:  O'Reilly, 9; Franson, 5; Marcus Foligno, Ristolainen, 4

Primary Assits
--October:  O'Reilly, 5; Foligno, Sam Reinhart, Franson, 3

Powerplay Assists
--October:  O'Reilly 4, Franson, 3 Kane, Brian Gionta, Foligno, Ristolainen, 2

--October:  Moulson, Reinhart, Johan Larsson, Tim Schaller, Zemgus Girgensons, 0

Plus/Minus (Bottom)
--October:  Jamie McGinn, Eichel, -6; Kane, Ristolainen, Franson, -5


Robin Lehner
--October: 0-0-0; 2.18 gaa; .917 sv.%. 0 shutouts (note: was injured in game-one)
Chad Johnson
 --October:  3-6-0; 3.16; .881; 0 shutouts

Linus Ullmark
--October:  1-1-0; 2.55; .911; 0 shutouts

No comments:

Post a Comment