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Vanek stays hot, but Sabres keep losing

Feb 3, 2013, 6:16 PM EDT

thomasvanekcelebrategetty Getty Images

Thomas Vanek is producing Hart Trophy-type work for the Buffalo Sabres, yet his team remains hapless despite his surprising success.

The Austrian winger scored a goal and two assists to push his league-leading points total to 19 on Sunday, but the Sabres couldn’t find the scoreboard when he was off the ice. The Florida Panthers scraped out the win in regulation, topping Buffalo 4-3.

To give you an idea of how dependent the Sabres are on Vanek, chew on this: they’ve only scored eight goals this season without the 29-year-old forward collecting a point. He’s factored directly into about 70 percent of Buffalo’s 27 goals.

Despite boasting the clear points leader – no one else in the NHL has more than 16 – the Sabres rest at the bottom of the Northeast Division with seven points (3-5-1). Only Florida (six points), Philadelphia (six) and Washington (five) have fewer standings points in the East.

That’s troubling stuff, especially when you consider how difficult it will be for Vanek to approach his unexpected production for the remaining 40 games of this season.

  1. tarotsujimoto74 - Feb 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    The defense is deplorable.

  2. beermeone - Feb 3, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    The coaching is deplorable

  3. drewzducks - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    The team is deplorable.

    • 19to77 - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      Excepting that beauty of a top line, it does appear this team’s completely terrible.

      • drewzducks - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:43 PM

        Agreed. Vanek is a machine.

  4. 19to77 - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    We’ll take you on the Sedin line, Thomas. Come put all that firepower to actual use.

  5. valoisvipers - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Their fans are deplorable.

  6. violentbynature - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    the Sabres have some talent, so is the talent not meeting expectations or is it the system, haven’t had powerful scoring since Briere , Drury and company.

  7. capsfan19 - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Theyre doin better than the caps. They should be happy about that ha!

  8. iownyou2 - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    i have been on Lindy’s side throughout 99% of his tenure with buffalo. But these last few years, especially this year have led me to think its necessary for a change. He has the players to work in his system, which stresses good D (both offensively and defensively), depth scoring, and goaltending. But they way they have drafted the past 2 years and with what appears to be another top 10 draft coming this year they have to change their style. Grigorenko should not be on this team this year but since he is why not force him to play top 6 forward play, thats what you drafted him for. If i see him on a line with John Scott again im going to lose my mind. Hecht and stafford need to go. Armia and Tropp need to be in their place next year and work in Girgensons between Buf and Roc. You have a strong D core in place, bring in a coach who can work with this young offensive talent.

  9. nosefacekillah - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    After reading the boards Friday I thought the Sabres were on their way to the Cup after that “huge” win against the Bruins. What happened? Was the super Sabre Scott a scratch?

    • tarotsujimoto74 - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      Alas, he has yet to find his scoring touch

  10. TestSubjekt - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Ruff should move Grigorenko up to the 2nd line and drop Ennis to the 3rd. Just try something to get another line scoring.

    I have no quick fix for the defense problem but I don’t like Leopold. I would ship him out if a grittier option became available. There was a play in the second game against Toronto when Kessel bowled over Miller. Leopold was the closest Sabre to Kessel but I think it was Kaleta that rushed in from like 20 feet away to let Kessel know keep the hell away from Miller.

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