Saturday, February 28, 2009

Not playing offense in front of Lalime

Buffalo Sabres Patrick Lalime
Patrick Lalime has a disappointing record of 2-8-2, but is actually a far better player than his win loss record indicates. The problem is that whenever Lalime gets in a game the Sabres don't play any good offense in front of him.

Last Thursday he played great against the Hurricanes stopping 31 of 32 shots, but ended up with an shootout loss after the Sabres could only manage one goal themselves and none in the shootout.

In Lalime's last ten games played the Sabres only scored more than two goals in a single one of those games and averaged only 1.9 goals per game. Overall this season the Sabres are averaging 2.82 goals per game. If Buffalo would keep up this scoring pace when Lalime is in net, they would have been able to win a number of those games, especially as many of them were very close.

There is also no reason to see why the change in goaltender would result in any significant change to Buffalo's play. Both Lalime and Miller play a similar style, and neither of them are big puck movers like Turco and Biron are.

Buffalo just needs to player better in front of Lalime, and stop making him look so bad. Buffalo will get a good chance to do so Saturday night when they play the New York Islanders. If there was ever a chance to run up the score on an opponent, this is it.

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