Don’t look now, but the Buffalo Sabres are the hottest team in the NHL, riding an 8-0-2 record over their last ten games. That hot streak has moved them into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, only one point ahead of Boston and the Rangers. The Sabres are learning that life isn’t all bad after losing their top two centers to free agency over the summer.
Leading the charge is goalie Ryan Miller. Over his last ten appearances, he’s given up only 15 goals (1.53) and has a save percentage of 0.947. In those games, Miller has allowed more than two goals only once. This guy is no flash in the pan. If you can catch his current owner sleeping, you might be able to grab yourself a keeper whose team is learning to play without two of its top three scorers from last season. Yes poolies it is Miller time.
With the departure of Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, it was thought that Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek, Maxim Afinogenov and Tim Connolly would lead the team offensively. Afinogenov and Connolly have both battled through injuries all season long.
Vanek has struggled to live up to his large contract, but is finally showing signs that his 43 goals last season were not a fluke. Over his last ten games, Vanek has scored at a point per game pace, including a hat trick against the Senators.
On the season, Roy hasn’t been outstanding, but in his last 13 games, he’s tallied 16 points. If you are looking to acquire Roy, be aware that he has a history of being a streaky scorer.
The big surprise for me is that Jason Pominville leads the Sabres in scoring. He’s on pace for over 70 points this season and has scored 13 points in has last nine games. His plus/minus over those nine games is a decent plus-7. If you discount the poor November he had, Pominville has scored 44 points in 44 games this season.
Don’t forget about defenseman Brian Campbell. He’s scored eight points over his last seven games. Six of those points have come with the man advantage. After back to back seasons of 44 and 48 points, he is on pace for a career high 59 points. The 28-year-old Campbell will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, so a 60 point season translates to a large increase in salary and possibly a change of scenery.