NHL: The Buffalo Sabres' 5 Biggest Concerns Heading Into December

Kevin FreiheitContributor INovember 29, 2010

NHL: The Buffalo Sabres' 5 Biggest Concerns Heading Into December

0 of 5

    A five day break between games may be just what the Sabres need. Now is a good time for them to fix up all the problems on and off the ice.

    With a slow start to the season, the Sabres have a lot of work to do in order to make the playoffs. There are quite a few problems that need to fixed before the team goes anywhere. Here are their biggest concerns as they head into December.


1 of 5

    Why is Craig Rivet still the captain of this team? And if you have a valid answer to that question, then why is he being benched? The captain should not be benched. I am not blaming Lindy Ruff for it because I think it was a good decision. 

    Rivet is 36 and is reaching the end of his career quickly. I don't think he has enough left in him to play in Lindy's system anymore. 

    This is likely his last season with the Sabres, but the "C" should be put on someone else's jersey.

    Derek Roy has been the only forward putting up points consistently this season. Why not give the captaincy to Roy?

    I know that Rivet is an experienced veteran and probably helps out quite a bit in the locker room, but it's time for him to go. He should never have gotten the "C" when he came here from San Jose. 

Back To Back Games

2 of 5

    The Sabres seem to have a difficult time when playing on back to back nights. That's not good considering they have a league high of 22 of them. 

    This year, the Sabres are 2-5-1 when playing the second game of a back to back. The Sabres need to find a way to win those games, or at least some of them. 

2 On 1 Rush

3 of 5

    NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 10: Paul Gaustad #28 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on November 10, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The Sabres defeated the DSevils 5-4 in the shootout.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    They can't get this down. Every time they have a 2 on 1 rush, something goes wrong. They'll slow down, shoot wide or pass right into the defender. 

    When other teams have the opportunity, they excel at it. 

    Why do the Sabres have so much trouble with this?

    And on a side note, why is it always that Paul Gaustad and Mike Grier get breakaways, especially shorthanded?


4 of 5

    BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Jason Pominville #29 of the Buffalo Sabres makes a pass against the Tampa Bay Lightning at HSBC Arena on November 20, 2010 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    I know Jason Pominville was knocked out for a while and needed some time to get back to normal. 

    But he hasn't done anything! And neither has Jochen Hecht.

    The two have combined for just three goals in 41 games, as well as four assists each. Lindy needs to find the right line for those two to be on. 

    Hecht is a -4 and Pominville is a -7.

    They are pretty much useless on the ice right now.


5 of 5

    BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 19: Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates a goal by teammate Derek Roy #9 (not shown) against Rob Scuderi #7, Jonathan Bernier #45 and Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings at HSBC Arena on November 19, 2010 in Buffal
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    The Sabres have scored three or more goals in ten games this season. They have 60 goals through the first 25 games, averaging 2.4 per game. 

    Even with Ryan Miller in the net, the Sabres are going to need to score those third and fourth goals more often.

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!