Okay, let me rephrase my headline.
"Buffalo Sabres Need a Star (Who Isn't a Goaltender or Defenseman)".
First and foremost, I would like to say that I am incredibly pleased with the way that the Sabres' season has gone thus far. Buffalo is atop the Northeast Division, third in the Eastern Conference, and boasts one of the best defenses in the league.
I'm also incredibly happy with some players on the team, such as star netminder Ryan Miller, and even his backup Patrick Lalime.
Rookie sensation Tyler Myers has been absolutely stellar this season, and is picking up the more ice time per game than any other rookie in the league. He's been a cornerstone on the blue and gold's defense.
Clarke MacArthur has impressed this season also, with a team-high 10 goals this season.
And that's when I start to worry, after typing that sentence.
"...a team-high 10 goals..."
And that sentence is why I'm writing this article. Again, I am not complaining or being pessimistic, I would just like to point this issue out.
League leaders in scoring include Gaborik, Marleau, Ovechkin, Crosby, etc...and while I realize that Buffalo may not get a player of that magnitude in the near future, I'm just concerned that the Sabres' best goal scorer has less than half of the league leaders.
However, what is apparent among the Sabres and lacking in other squads is the "goals by committee" system that Lindy Ruff is pushing among his players, and so far it's working just fine. As long as the defense keeps going the way it is.
Only three Sabres starters (Rivet, Mair, Butler) are without goals. Four players have scored one apiece, another four have scored two, two have scored six, three have scored seven, Derek Roy has nine and MacArthur and Vanek both have 10.
The system of pushing towards the net and simply putting shots on goal has worked, especially in times of dire need (such as Buffalo's last win against Toronto).
Other times, when the system fails, the outcome is ugly (such as Buffalo's loss against Washington last night).
That was painfully obvious watching the Sabres fall to the Capitals, as Ryan Miller did all he could to stop Washington. But, a goalie can only do so much, and especially without the offensive help that's needed.
That's why I get this feeling that if Buffalo had that one stud forward, a power scorer who could ignite this Sabres offense, the team would be just about unstoppable. I'm trying not to be a homer, but I truly believe that.
One of the biggest disappointments so far is Buffalo's supposed superstar, Thomas Vanek. He's injured, yes, but only 10 goals so far? In many fans' opinions, he is not earning the salary that Buffalo is shelling out for him.
Am I calling for a trade? Perhaps. Something, please something, to get this offense going. Buffalo is currently ranked 21st with just 94 goals for, compared to league-leader Washington's 132.
There are many rumors about players like Lecavalier, Carter, and Kovulchuk being moved within or after this season, and the Sabres might want to consider pursuing a top-ranked offensive machine.
I'm not saying capturing one of the mentioned three is likely, but in my opinion the Sabres management needs to do something.
I want to open this up to the readers, Sabres fans or not. What do you think could help out this offense, and relieve some pressure on the defense?
And to those reading: A blessed and Merry Christmas to you and yours!