How the Sabres’ latest losing streak stacks up

Sports

Ralph Krueger head coach of Buffalo Sabres reacts during the NHL Global Series Ice Hockey match Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres in Stockholm on November 9, 2019. (Getty Images)

The Sabres have lost 15 of 17 games since being sidelined by COVID-19 in early February. Their latest loss, a 6-0 no-show Monday against the Capitals, ran their current streak to 11 losses in a row.

But when looking for perspective on the Sabres’ latest slide, one of the strangest quirks is that, in the eyes of the NHL, this isn’t really a “losing streak.”

As far as the league is concerned, this is a “winless streak.” When you lose in overtime or a shootout — and pick up a point in the process — that snaps a “losing streak,” according to their official record keeping.

The Sabres’ current “losing streak” only stretches three games. But they are 0-9-2 in their last 11, losing once in overtime and once in a shootout. They have been shut out four times in the process, and outscored 46-17.

So how does the latest suffering stack up? Here is a list of the longest “winless streaks” in Sabres history, per the NHL’s record keeping:

  • 14 games – 2014-15 (all in regulation)
  • 12 games – 2002-03 and 1991-92
  • 11 games – 2020-21 (active) *
  • 10 games – 2007-08 and 1971-72

* Update: The streak was 11 games at the time of writing; as of March 23, it has stretched to 14 games.

The longest winless streak in NHL history is, amazingly, 30 games by the 1981-82 Winnipeg Jets. They won their third game of the year on Oct. 17 and then didn’t win again until Dec. 23, going 0-23-7 in between. Going winless in 11 straight ties for the 112th-longest streak in NHL history.

The Sabres have a chance to get back in the column Tuesday night against New Jersey. KeyBank Center opens to fans beginning Saturday.

“We are in a definitely negative funk right now, and I only know one thing and that’s to fight,” coach Ralph Krueger said after Monday’s loss. “The adversity that we sit in is not that which we get judged by. It’s how we react and how we grow and learn out of this. … It feels like we’re in a very deep, dark place right now, and the only way we get into any light is keeping the fight into the team and sticking together.”

Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.

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