On November 28, the Sabres were the best team in the NHL.
They led the league and the Atlantic with 36 points and were riding high on a 10-game winning streak.
Since then, the Blue & Gold have been in a perpetual free fall from the top of the standings.
The Sabres are 6-10-4 over their last 20 games and have officially been pushed out of a playoff spot — they’re now on the outside looking in at the postseason picture.
Not ideal. #Sabres
With loss and MTL win, #Sabres are now on the outside looking it at playoffs as they’ve struggled over last 20 games.
They led the Atlantic on Nov. 28. @news4buffalo pic.twitter.com/7rehWVrlnD— Nick Filipowski (@NEWS4_NICK) January 13, 2019
Is it time to panic? No — there is still plenty of hockey left.
Following their 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday, Head Coach Phil Housley said if the team starts to play a more complete game, they’ll be right back in the mix. Players feel the same.
“We have a great locker room, we believe in each other so we just have to get right back on track,” said defenseman Marco Scandella. “It’s going to start with the next game. We’re a very confident group this year so I have no worries.”
“There’s frustration, yeah. There’s no time to dwell on it. We’re right there, we’re right in the hunt and that’s where we wanted to be at the start of the year,” added forward Sam Reinhart. “So, we have to embrace that challenge and putting up points more consistently.”
Buffalo will look to do that on their three game road trip out West when they battle Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver before the All-Star break. Last season, the Blue & Gold won all three games.
“It’s really important,” Housley said when asked about bouncing back before the All-Star break. “Every game is important, it doesn’t matter if we’re home or on the road. We have to apply a 60 minute effort and recognize the mistakes we’re making and try to overcome those and learn from them as we move forward.”