With the Sabres season in free fall, what's next?

March 05, 2019 - 6:58 pm

Following their 4-3 loss at home to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night, the Buffalo Sabres now find themselves nine points out of a playoff spot with 16 games left on the schedule.

Having not won back-to-back games since the middle of December, the season has taken a complete 180-degree turn since the 10-game win streak in November.

Travis Yost from TSN joined Schopp and the Bulldog on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Sabres struggles over the past three months. The trio touched on the Sabres' goaltending, coaching, possible roster moves to make in the offseason and more. 

Here's some of what Yost had to say:


Yost on Sabres goaltening duo: "The goalies have just been abysmal for the last two and a half months. Hutton and Ullmark have given up 18 goals more than expected at even strength alone, when adjusting for shot quality and shot volume against. That is three wins right there in the standings that you can just put on the goaltenders."

Yost on how/when to know coaching is "the problem": "Where I tend to isolate on coaching inefficiency is how he's handling his lineup. Once you start seeing total lineup inefficiency, then you can start pointing to the coach and saying 'this is what you have to work with,' but here are three or four core players in your lineup that're consistently delivering negative results. And you've done nothing, in terms of flexibility, to even test if the other players providing more value further down the lineup, could displace some of those minutes in a more favorable manner. I think the great coaches tend to not only find that certain guys are getting too many minutes, they find ways to displace those minutes from that player."

Yost on what he sees with Sabres right now: "I still see a top-heavy roster. The goaltending has let me down. The forward group still seems pretty top-heavy and a work-in-progress. The blueline was a disaster last year, and I think that's gotten better as they've introduced new bodies and new blood. Obviously, Rasmus Dahlin has had a big impact there."

Yost on Sabres building around their young core now: "Is there a better time to strike than this summer? All the talk around the trade deadline was about all these random, first-line level talent players that somehow became available....The question Buffalo need's to answer is, 'what is our window for contention?' To me, it's right now. You have Jack Eichel right now in his prime. You have Rasmus Dahlin who's probably a year or two maximum from his prime. Your core players are ready to go right now."


You can hear the entire interview below:



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