Friday, April 15, 2016

2015-16 Team Stats--Final

Reprinted with permission from

While in-season momentum can propel a team to new levels, carrying over momentum from season to season is a tricky thing. How many times have we seen a team finish the season strong only to fall back to where they were prior. It's especially true when a team is clawing their way up from at or near the bottom of the standings.

The Buffalo Sabres finished the 2015-16 season with a kick as they went 10-5-4 in March and April and there was a definitive sense of optimism at First Niagara Center yesterday as the Sabres held their year-end press conference. GM Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma fielded questions from the media in a lighthearted manner reflecting on a season that was about as successful as one could get considering where they came from.

A quick history as to why the Buffalo Sabres are probably pleased with the way the 2015-16 unfolded for the team.

In the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season they had 48 points (21-21-6) in 48 games, on pace for 82 points in a full season. In 2013-14 they went 21-51-10, good for only 52 points and the following year they finished with 54 points on a 23-51-8 record.

With the overtime victory in Brooklyn over the NY Islanders last weekend, the Sabres finished the season with a 35-36-11 record. The 81 points on the year represent a 50% increase over the previous season and nearly matches their performance prior to their rebuild.

This past season was a tale of two halves as the organization began the year with a new coaching staff, a new system and nine new players on the team, not to mention a pretty tough schedule. Four of the first 13 games of the season were against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Tampa Bay Lightning and soon thereafter they faced off against some of the big dogs of the Western Conference. When all was said and done the Sabres finished the first half of the season with a 15-22-4 record after dropping their sixth in a row to the Chicago Blackhawks on January 8.

From there the Sabres began the second half by finishing the month of January with a 5-4-0 record and followed that up by going 5-5-3 in February, 7-4-4 in March and 3-1-1 in April for a second half record of 20-14-7. A full season at that pace puts them in the playoffs this season. Of note, the Detroit Red Wings clinched the final Atlantic Division spot with 93 points while the Philadelphia Flyers clinched the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 96 points.

Despite seeing their draft lottery odds precipitously drop during March and April, learning to win was a focal point for the organization especially with the backdrop of a cumulative 65-123-24 record over the previous three seasons. They beat the teams around and below them in the standings and held their own against league powerhouses most of the time. Rarely were they blown out this season despite having one of the youngest teams in the league and having the fifth man-games lost to injury according to

Murray's mantra throughout his tenure in Buffalo was to get better every day, and they certainly did so this year making huge strides. He also stated numerous times this season that his team was playing much better than the record indicated. The fact of the matter is, the 2015-16 edition of the Buffalo Sabres did what many expected by making huge strides this season. The stated goal, as it is every year for every team, is to make the playoffs no matter how unrealistic said goal might be. Murray kicked off the presser yesterday by answering a question on that stated goal and upped the ante for next season by telling the gathered media, "I've said you guys a lot that we just want to improve every year, and I think we've done that to a pretty good degree. And again, the goal will be to make the playoffs next year and maybe it may actually be a realistic goal.

"That will be our statement to the players that, yes, our goal is to reach the playoffs and that we actually do expect to do that."

Buffalo Sabres Team Stats/League Rankings...(Leader):


--October: 4 (T-23rd)...(MTL, 10)
--November: 10 (T-20th)...(DAL, 19)
--December: 15 (T-24th)...(DAL, WSH, 28)
--January: 20 (T-26)...(WSH, 35)
--February: 25 (27th)...(WSH, 45)
--March:  32 (24th)...(WSH, 54)
--Final:   35 (23rd)...(WSH, 56)

  --2014-15: 23 (30th)...(ANA, 49)

Atlantic Division Standing

--October: 7th...(MTL)
--November: 7th...(MTL)
--December: 8th...(FLA)
--January: 7th...(FLA)
--February: 7th...(FLA)
--March:  7th..(FLA)
--Final:  7th...(FLA)

  --2014-15: 8th...(MTL)

Eastern Conference Standing

--October: 14th...(MTL)
--November: 13th...(MTL)
--December: 15th...(WSH)
--January: 14th...(WSH)
--February: 15th...(WSH)
--March:  14th...(WSH)
--Final:  14th...(WSH)

  --2014-15: 16th...(NYR)

League standing/Points

--October: 24th/8 pts...(MTL/20)
--November: 24th/22...(MTL/39)
--December: 28th/34...(DAL/59)
--January: 27th/44...(WSH/74)
--February: 26th /57...(WSH/94)
--March:  24th/75...(WSH/114)
--Final:  23rd/81...(WSH/120)

  --2014-15: 30th/54...(NYR/113)

Points Percentage

--October: 36.4% (24th)...(MTL, 88.3)
--November: 45.8 (24th)...(DAL, 79.2)
--December: 44.7 (28th)...(WSH. 78.3)
--January: 44 (28th)...(WSH, 78.7)
--February: 45.2 (27th)...(WSH, 77.0)
--March:  48 (24th)...(WSH, 75.0)
--Final:  49.4 (23d)...(WSH, 73.2)

  --2014-15 32.9 (30th)...(NYR, 68.9)

Goal Differential

--October: -8 (25th)...(MTL, +22)
--November: -8 (22nd)...(MTL, +32)
--December: -13 (22nd)...(DAL, +39)
--January: -22 (28th)...(WSH, +54)
--February: -23 (23rd)...(WSH, +60)
--March:  -22 (22nd)..(WSH, +60)
--Final:  -21 (20th)...(WSH, +59)

  --2014-15 -113 (30th)...(NYR, +60)


--October: 2.27 (22nd)...(BOS, 3.90)
--November: 2.21 (27th)...(DAL, 3.50)
--December: 2.29 (28th)...(DAL, 3.49)
--January: 2.26 (28th)...(WSH, 3.32)
--February: 2.32 (29th)...(WSH, 3.26)
--March:  2.40 (27th)...(DAL, 3.26)
--Final:  2.43 (25th)...(DAL, 3.23)

  --2014-15: 1.87 (30th)...(TBL, 3.16)


--October: 33.8 (1st)
--November: 29.5 (18th)...(LAK, 32.1)
--December: 29.7 (15th)...(DAL, 32.4)
--January: 29.3 (T-17th)...(PIT, 32.3)
--February: 29.4 (17th)...(PIT, 32.9)
--March:  29.7 (17th)...(PIT, 33.4)
--Final:  29.5 (17th)...(PIT, 33.2)

  --2014-15: 24.2 (30th)...(CHI, 33.9)


--October: 3.09 (24th)...(PIT, 1.82)
--November: 2.54 (13th)...(NYR, 2.08)
--December: 2.58 (14th)...(WSH, 2.11)
--January: 2.66 (19th)...(FLA, 2.18)
--February: 2.62 (16th)...(LAK, 2.27)
--March:  2.62 (16th)...(WSH, 2.30)
--Final:  2.62, (15th)...(ANA, 2.29)

  --2014-15: 3.28 (29th)...(MTL, 2.24)

Shots against/Game

--October: 26.9 (5th)...(WSH, 25.1)
--November: 28.4 (5th)...(CAR, 25.3)
--December: 29.4 (16th)...(CAR, 26.2)
--January: 30.6 (21st)...(CAR, 26.5)
--February: 30.9 (23rd)...(CAR, 26.8)
--March:  30.8 (23rd)...(NSH, 27.3)
--Final:  30.6 (22nd)...(NSH, 27.3)

  --2014-15: 35.6 (30th)...(LAK, 27.0)


--October: 22.7% (9th)...(BOS, 35.3)
--November: 21.3 (8th)...(BOS, 32.4)
--December: 19.3 (15th)...(BOS, 29.4)
--January: 20.9 (6th)...(WSH, 26.8)
--February: 19.6 (11th)...(WSH, 23.7)
--March:  19.0 (13th)...(ANA, 23.6)
--Final:  18.9 (12th)...(ANA, 23.1)

  --2014-15: 13.4 (30th)...(WSH, 25.3)

Penalty Kill

--October: 71.4% (29th)...(NYI, 92.3)
--November: 75.4 (26th)...(ANA, 87.5)
--December: 77.4, (25th)...(ANA, 88.0)
--January: 80.6 (17th)...(ANA, 89.6)
--February: 82.7 (9th)...(NYI, 87.4)
--March:  82.5 (9th)...(ANA, 86.6)
--Final: 82.6 (9th)...(ANA, 87.2)

  --2014-15: 75.1 (30th)...(MIN, 86.3)

Faceoff Percentage

--October: 50.4% (14th)...(SJS, 53.7)
--November: 50.1 (17th)...(CAR, 54.0)
--December: 50.5 (13th)...(CAR, 53.2)
--January: 50 (T-17th)...(CAR, 53.9)
--February: 49.5 (23rd)...(CAR. 53.8)
--March:  49.3...(22nd)...(ARI, 54.5)
--Final:  49.4 (21st)...(ARI, 54.7)

  --2014-15: 44.9 (30th)...(BOS, 53.6)

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