Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com
In going over individual Buffalo Sabre stats for a rather successful month of March, aside from the usual suspects hitting the top three in most scoring categories, there are some notables that made their presence known.
Sam Reinhart has been consistently hitting the scoresheet all season long and joins the ranks of "usual suspects" like Ryan O'Reilly, fellow rookie Jack Eichel and Evander Kane after yet another strong month. Reinhart was his usual quite self while amassing a total of 12 points in 15 games for the Sabres in March. He scored four goals and added eight assists (five of them primary) with only one goal and one assist coming on the powerplay. In the past two months Reinhart has double his production and now has 40 points on the season.
O'Reilly still leads the team in points (58) even though he only played eight games in March because of an injury. He augmented his team-leading assist total (38) by adding six of them last month and chipped in his first goal in 24 games as well. Eichel, who leads the team in goals (23) and is second in points (51) had another strong month registering 10 points last month on the power of six goals and four assists. And before his injury, Kane continued his late-season push with three goals and six assists in 13 games. He's been shelved for the rest of the season.
Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, who has cooled off considerably since the first part of the year, remained in the top-five in scoring despite a sub-par month. O'Reilly, Eichel, Ristolainen, Reinhart and Kane lead the team in points so far this season.
As we look back on a March where the Sabres had their best monthly record (7-4-4,) secondary scoring came through in a big way. Deuces were wild as No. 22 Johan Larsson once again centered the third line with captain Brian Gionta (No. 12) on the right and Marcus Foligno (No. 82) on the left. Chemistry is a word thrown around willy-nilly and lack of it means line shuffling. But these three have been together since February and last month they ruled the ice when they were on it.
Gionta had a rough go of it for a good portion of the season but his veteran savvy helped elevate his young linemates. At 38 yrs. old he can still get up and down the ice and still garners enough respect that he creates open-ice for his linemates. If they get open, he gets them the puck. Gionta was second on the team in assists last month with seven and all of them were primary and only two came on the powerplay. He also made the list by compiling a third-best +3 rating for the month of March.
The primary beneficiary of his playmaking prowess was Larsson as the scrappy two-way center hit the scoresheet for six goals last month, tying him with Eichel for the team lead in March. Larsson added two assists and also had a plus-3 rating.
"Big Hoss" Foligno just missed cracking the top-three in points with eight on the month, goals (3,) and assists (5) but nobody had a better plus/minus rating than him. In 15 March games, Foligno was a minus player only twice (-1 vs. EDM, -1 vs. WPG) as he finished with a +8. Foligno has emerged as a two-way powerforward with upside since head coach Dan Bylsma put him with Larsson and Gionta. In addition to adding seven goals and six assists since January, Foligno has seen his plus/minus go from a -6 to a team-leading +5.
Speaking of chemistry, Bylsma found that on the blueline with the second paring of Zach Bogosian and rookie Jake McCabe. The two have been paired almost exclusively since Bogosian's return from injury and they've begun to really gel. Bogosian had a 4th-overall pick-type month of March postin three goals and adding six assists while posting a plus-3 rating.
McCabe, who plays a very similar game to Bogosian, held the fort while the latter got up ice and jumped into the play and came away with a +7 rating for the month. Like Foligno, the 22 yr. old McCabe has seen his plus/minus rating power to the plus side going from a -8 to a team second-best +3 on the season. Those two are the only regulars in the plus column for the team.
Props to goalie Chad Johnson who recorded his 20th win of the season versus the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. Johnson continues to put up solid numbers with a 2.38 goals-against average and .919 save percentage on the season.
Only four more games until we say goodbye to the 2015-16.
Buffalo Sabres Individual Stats:
--October: Ryan O'Reilly, 12; Tyler Ennis, Matt Moulson, Rasmus Ristolainen, Cody Franson, 5
--November: Ristolainen, 9; Jack Eichel, 8; O'Reilly, 6
--December: Evander Kane, O'Reilly, 14; Eichel, Ristolainen, 11
--January: Eichel, 11; O'Reilly, 7; Kane, Ristolainen, 6
--February: O'Reilly, 9; Sam Reinhart, 8; Eichel, Kane, 7
--March: Reinhart, 12; Eichel, 10; Kane, Brian Gionta, Zach Bogosian, 9
--October: O'Reilly, Eichel, 4; Ennis, Moulson, 3
--November: Reinhart, 5; Eichel, O'Reilly, 4
--December: O'Reilly, 7; Kane, 6; Jamie McGinn, 4
--January: Eichel, 5; Reinhart, 4; Kane 3
--February: Kane, Reinhart, 6; McGinn, Marcus Foligno, 4
--March: Eichel, Larsson, 6; Reinhart, 4
--October: O'Reilly, 3; Eichel, Ennis, 2
--November: Reinhart, 2; Eichel, O'Reilly, McGinn, Ristolainen, 1
--December: O'Reilly, Ristolainen, 2; Kane, Zemgus Girgensons, McGinn, 1
--January: Eichel, 3; Reinhart, 2; Kane, O'Reilly, McGinn, Franson, 1
--February: McGinn, Reinhart, 2; Gionta, Bogosian, 1
--March: Eichel, Bogosian, 2; Four with 1
--October: O'Reilly, 9; Franson, 5; Marcus Foligno, Ristolainen, 4
--November: Ristolainen, 6; Ennis, 5; Eichel, Moulson, David Legwand, 4
--December: Eichel, Ristolainen, 8; O'Reilly, 7
--January: Eichel, 6; O'Reilly, Ristolainen, 5
--February: O'Reilly, 9; Eichel, 6; Girgensons, Ristolainen, 4
--March: Reinhart, 8; Gionta, 7; Kane, O'Reilly, Bogosian, 6
--October: O'Reilly, 5; Foligno, Reinhart, Franson, 3
--November: Ristolainen, 4; Moulson, 3; Eichel, O'Reilly, Legwand, Franson, 2
--December: Eichel, 7; O'Reilly, 5; Reinhart, Ristolainen, 3
--January: Eichel, 5; Ristolainen, 4; Brian Gionta, 2
--February: O'Reilly, 5; Girgensons, Ristolainen, Pysyk, 3
--March: Gionta, 7; Reinhart, 5; Kane, O'Reilly, 4
--October: O'Reilly 4, Franson, 3 Kane, Gionta, Foligno, Ristolainen, 2
--November: Franson, 3; Ennis, 2; Eichel, O'Reilly, Moulson, Gionta, Legwand, Ristolainen, 1
--December: O'Reilly, Ristolainen, 3; seven players with one each
--January: Eichel, Ristolainen, 4; O'Reilly, 2
--February: Eichel, Ristolainen, 3; O'Reilly, 2
--March: Ristolainen, 3; Eichel, O'Reilly, Larsson, 2
--October: Moulson, Reinhart, Johan Larsson, Tim Schaller, Girgensons, 0
--November: Legwand, Josh Gorges, +4; McGinn, Foligno, Carlo Colaiacovo, +3
--December: Mike Weber, +5, Cody Franson, +4; McGinn, +2
--January: Moulson, Schaller +2; Gorges, Weber, +1
--February: McCabe, +4; Gionta, Foligno, +3
--March: Foligno, +8; Jake McCabe, +7; Gionta, Larsson, Bogosian, +3
--October: McGinn, Eichel, -6; Kane, Ristolainen, Franson, -5
--November: Ennis, -6; Larsson, -3; Girgensons, Brian Gionta, Zach Bogosian, Jake McCabe, -1
--December: Gorges, -5; Nic Deslauriers, Bogosian, Colaiacovo, -4
--January: O'Reilly, -14; McGinn, -10; Bogosian, -9
--February: Eichel, Moulson, Deslauriers, -4; Ristolainen, -3
--March: O'Reilly, Colaiacovo, -3; Moulson, Daniel Catenacci, Ristolainen, Gorges, -2
Goalies (year to date)
--October: 0-0-0; 2.18 gaa; .917 sv.%; 0 shutouts (note: was injured in game-one)
--November: injured, no games played
--December: injured, no games played
--January: 1-3-0; 2.26; .936; 0
--February: 4-7-2; 2.32; .931; 1
--March: 5-9-6; 2.47; .924; 1
--October: 3-6-0; 3.16; .881; 0 shutouts
--November: 6-7-1; 2.37; .913; 0
--December: 10-10-2; 2.41; .917; 1
--January: 12-13-3; 2.45; .917; 1
--February: 14-14-3; 2.45; .917; 1
--March: 20-16-5; 2.38; .919; 1
--October: 1-1-0; 2.55; .911; 0 shutouts
--November: 4-5-1; 2.50; .916; 0
--December: 5-9-2; 2.56; .914; 0
--January: 7-10-2; 2.58; .915; 0
--February: no NHL games
--March: no NHL games