(WGR 550) – The Buffalo Sabres put together another dismal, pathetic exhibition of hockey on Thursday and lost their fifth-straight game, 5-2 to the New York Islanders. Buffalo is 0-4-0 this season against this Islanders team, and will play them two more times in the next three days.
For the third time in four games, Buffalo handed the Islanders a 2-0 first period lead.
On the first goal, there was the Sabres' trademark "no defensive awareness" when defenseman Noah Dobson joined the rush late and beat Jonas Johansson.
Goaltender coaches teach their goaltenders to be down on one knee and it drives me crazy. If Johansson is up and hugging the post on the second goal-against, Matt Martin has no chance to bank a puck in off his mask from below the goal line.
In the first period, the Sabres had zero drive and zero passion, and were outshot 18-6.
It took only 3:08 for the Sabres to get on the board in the second period, as Taylor Hall scored for the first time in 20 games. Hall went to the net and converted a rebound.
You would think that would inspire the bench and get the team going.
Nope, nothing inspires this group.
The Sabres just fell into more of an abyss, giving up a breakaway goal to Anthony Beauvillier and left the period down 3-1. The shots after two periods were 32-11 in favor of the Islanders.
Martin is not a goal scorer. He had five goals last season and six the year before.
Martin is an energy guy that had eight points last season, and already has six points this year. He has four goals this season, with three of them coming against the Sabres.
By the way, this checking forward that rarely ever scores has just as many goals this year as Hall, Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner combined.
Teams know that when they play the Sabres, it’s going to be an easy game. They won’t get hit unless Rasmus Ristolainen is on the ice, and they won’t have to spend too much time defending the front of their own net because very few Sabres will be there.
Martin’s second goal of the game couldn’t have been easier. The winger was in the corner and was allowed to come out and go straight to the net with no Sabres around.
Johansson made 40 saves in the game, as the Sabres were outshot, 45-18.
Ever since the two losses to the Philadelphia Flyers this past weekend, the Sabres aren’t just losing games, they're embarrassing themselves. They didn’t score a goal in those two games against the Flyers, and there was no passion or emotion as they went through the motions Thursday in Long Island.
Ralph Krueger, again, talked about how his system works when it’s executed properly, but a points percentage of .357 this season and .493 last season says otherwise.
The Sabres, supposedly, made their team better this season. They, supposedly, are a talented team this season. They’re 29th in the NHL in points percentage, and dead last in points with 15.
I think that tells us all we need to know about if the system the Sabres employ works.