Published by hockeybuzz.com, 2-2-2017
As mentioned in the Team Stats blog, the Sabres did a lot more scoring in the month of January than they have during any month this year. Buffalo averaged 3.23 goals/game last month, but it came at the expense of goal-against which rose as well. In the end the Sabres goal-differential only dipped by two as they scored 42 goals for the month but gave up 40 in the process.
The month of January belonged to Evander Kane as he lead the team with 11 points in 13 games, lead the team in goals (6,) hit the board in assists (5) and managed a second-best plus-4 for the month. Kane's linemates also made their presence known with Brian Gionta's nine points on five goals and four assists while center Zemgus Girgensons was a plus-4. In all the trio combined for 14 goals, 13 assists and finished with a cumulative plus-9 rating.
When the Montreal Canadiens did a number on the Sabres on Tuesday to finish the month, many players took a hit in the plus/minus column but none moreso than defenseman Zach Bogosian who was on the ice for all five Montreal goals. That minus-five rating destroyed a very sound month for Bogo as he was even for the month before that game. Others joining him in the minus-five column were Jack Eichel and Marcus Foligno and fourth-liner Cal O'Reilly who was on the ice for no more than 8:15 seconds in the seven games he appeared in last month. Foligno's plus/minus took a precipitous drop from a plus-five in the month of December to a minus-five for the month of January while playing on Eichel's line.
Both Ryan O'Reilly and Sam "The Quiet One" Reinhart had quiet months with only two goals each but they did some great set-up work as they lead the team in assists with nine and six, respectively. All six of Reinhart's assists were primary while seven of O'Reilly's nine were of the primary variety.
With head coach Dan Bylsma getting his forwards and defense corps moving up ice, the goaltending duo of Robin Lehner and Anders Nilsson felt the brunt of the offensive focus. Lehner got torched for five goals at Montreal, but he was rendered helpless on nearly every one of them. Both goalies now have a goals-against average of 2.60 or greater while Nilsson has managed to keep his save percentage above .920.
The Sabres kick off the month of February with a tilt against the NY Rangers tonight. It's the third month in a row they start the month against the Rangers. Buffalo defeated NY 4-3 at Key Bank Center on December 1 then beat them 4-1 at Madison Square Garden on January 3. Eichel has three goals in the two games vs. the Rangers including third period game-tying and game-winning goals in the December matchup.
Buffalo Sabres 2016-17 Individual Stats leaders:
--October: Okposo, O'Reilly, Ristolainen, 7; Moulson, Brian Gionta, 5
--November: Okposo, Reinhart, 8; O'Reilly, 5
--December: Ristolainen, 15; Eichel, Kane, Reinhart, 10
--January: Kane, O'Reilly, 11; Eichel, Gionta, 10
--October: Okposo, Moulson 4; O'Reilly, Brian Gionta, 3
--November: Reinhart, 4; O'Reilly, Okposo, Moulson, Foligno, 3
--December: Kane, 8; Eichel, 6; Reinhart, Okposo, Gionta, Larsson, Ristolainen, 3
--January: Kane, 6; Eichel, Okposo, Gionta, 5
--October: Moulson, 4; O'Reilly, 2; Okposo, Sam Reinhart, 1
--November: Moulson, Okposo, 2; Eichel, Reinhart, O'Reilly, Larsson, Franson, 1
--December: Okposo, 3; Reinhart, 2; Eichel, Kane, Moulson, Ristolainen, 1
--January: Eichel, 3; Reinhart, Okposo, 2
--October: Ristolainen, 7; O'Reilly, 4; Reinhart, Okposo, Franson, 3
--November: Okposo, 5; Reinhart, Ristolainen, 4; Kane, Franson, 3
--December: Ristolainen, 12; Reinhart, 7; O'Reilly, Okposo, Moulson, Gionta, Foligno, 5
--January: O'Reilly, 9; Reinhart, 6; Kane, 5
--October: Ristolainen, 6; Okposo, 3; O'Reilly, Reinhart, 2
--November: Okposo, 4; O'Reilly, Reinhart, Ristolainen, 2
--December: Ristolainen, 5; O'Reilly, 3; Eichel, Moulson, 2
--January: O'Reilly, 4; Ristolainen, 3; Eichel, Kane, Reinhart, Okposo, 2
--October: O'Reilly, Reinhart, Ristolainen, 3; Gionta, Girgensons, 2
--November: Okposo, Kane, Reinhart, 3; Gionta, 2
--December: Ristolainen, 6; Reinhart, Okposo, 4;
--January: O'Reilly, 7; Reinhart, 6; Franson, 4
--October: Gionta +3; Okposo, Franson +2
--November: Carrier +2; O'Reilly +1; Reinhart, Grant, Fedun, even
--December: Foligno +5; McCabe +3; Franson +2
--January: O'Reilly, +6; Kane, Girgensons, +4; Fedun Moulson, +3
--October: Tyler Ennis -4; Deslauriers, Grant -3
--November: Kane, Gionta -5; Larsson, -4
--December: Kulikov, Bogosian -6; Kane -5
--January: Eichel, Foligno, C. O'Reilly, Bogosian, -5; Franson, -4
--October: 2-2-1; 2.61 GAA; .913 Sv%; 0 shutouts
--November: 5-7-3; 2.40; .921; 0
--December: 8-12-5; 2.51; .921; 0
--January: 12-13-5; 2.64; .918; 0
--October: 1-1-1; 1.96 GAA; .937 Sv%; 1 shutout
--November: 3-2-2; 2.20; .939; 1
--December: 5-3-3; 2.47; .925; 1
--January: 8-7-4: 2.60; .923; 1