Don't Look Now...Are the Buffalo Sabres Back?

Jim Cowan@jimicowanCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2009

BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 3:  Goaltender Ryan Miller #30 and Tyler Myers #57 of the Buffalo Sabres defend the play of Maxim Lapierre #40 of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at HSBC Arena on October 3, 2009 in Buffalo, New York. The Canadiens defeated the Sabres 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

One tenth into the season, the NHL's best record belongs not to the Pens, not the Caps, not the Avs but to the Buffalo Sabres. Of course they've only played nine games compared to nearly everyone else whose played up to 13 games, but with a 7-1-1 start, they hold best record.

Slow starts, poor D and overplaying Miller has been the Achilles heal in the past couple years and it looked to be more of the same in the first few games. Then they scored 18 goals and gave up five against Detroit and New York, lost to Atlanta 4-2, and are now riding a three game win streak scoring 12 giving up five.

At least right now Miller and the defense are lights out. They've given up 17 goals over nine games. That is by far the best in the NHL by ten goals. Even playing two or three games less than the rest of the league, their average beats the next best Coyotes.

The Sabres are also league tied going undefeated on the road thus far at 4-0; the Penguins are 5-0 on the road.

So far, the goal leader is Clarke MacArthur with five goals and seven points. Vanek has four goals, Grier, Pominville and Stafford all have three.

Myers is proving to be the badass I thought he would be and doing it early. He's sitting at +8 only behind Tallinder who's +9. Myers also has two goals and three assists leading all defensemen in points.

One of their two losses came on one of their two-in-a-rows, which by the way, they are playing more of than any other team. In November, I'll say they've got the toughest schedule I've ever seen.

First they play Wednesday, Friday and Saturday every single week in November. That is a grind! Then they play Philly three times, Boston twice, Washington, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Carolina; the Sabres start this joke of a sched. with NYI on the 4th.

While it's certainly early to get too excited, I've got a vibe that Buffalo will fly under the radar and surprise some folks if the can survive November.



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