Dreadful Sabres season summed up in 5 stats
Calgary Flames defenceman Kris Russell tangles with Buffalo Sabres center Cody Hodgson in front of the net during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome on Jan. 27, 2015. (Candice Ward/USA TODAY Sports)
The Buffalo Sabres stink.
With a 15-33-3 record and not an ounce of optimism in sight, noting they “stink” might actually be understating the situation.
On Tuesday, Ted Nolan and crew snapped a 14-game losing streak by beating the Montreal Canadiens, 3-2, despite being outshot 34-18.
If the skid had continued through Sunday, the Sabres would have set a new benchmark for losses in a row by an NHL team with 18.
Even without said record in tow, the Sabres -- who have become the butt of countless jokes since the puck dropped on this season -- have positioned themselves to finish dead last.
If Buffalo keeps up its current pace (a win every 3.5 games), they’ll have a 20% chance of drafting Connor McDavid first overall in June.
Don't believe me? Play the odds yourself by using this handy-dandy 2015 NHL draft simulator.
Anyway, in the spirit of reassurance, we present the following five numbers to help explain just how much the Sabres stink.
Centre Cody Hodgson, the fourth-highest salary cap hit among Sabres forwards at $4.25 million this season, has managed to record only eight points in 49 games. The 24-year-old, who is supposed to be a top-six producer, was made a healthy scratch Saturday against his old team, the Vancouver Canucks.
Buffalo’s winning percentage through 26 road games is below the Mendoza Line (5-20-1). Before their aforementioned victory over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre, they hadn’t claimed a 'W' away from home since Nov. 29. The opponent then? Oddly enough, Montreal.
The Sabres power play percentage, which ranks 30th in the league, is gross. Only two other teams, Colorado at 13% and Edmonton at 13.2%, capitalize on less than 15% of their man advantage opportunities. They're also tied with Toronto for most short-handed goals against (eight).
Even if you're a member of the anti-numbers community, it’s hard to ignore Buffalo’s cringe-worthy Corsi stats. They have taken the term “negative puck possession team” to new heights by allowing the opposition to account for 63% of the shot attempts (hence the 37.1% Corsi For %).
Minus-84 is not the combined Celsius temperatures from a few wintery days in the Arctic, it’s actually the Sabres goal differential. In other words, Buffalo's team plus-minus is laughable. It turns out 14 losses by four or more goals, including a 7-0 whooping courtesy the Wild, adds up quickly.