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The importance of the one-goal game December 30, 2009

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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As Mike Harrington told us in his Sabres Notebook from this morning (12/30), the Sabres are 11-1-4 in one-goal games. Why do I think this stat is important/significant? Because good teams win one-goal games; bad teams lose them. I’m too lazy to look this up, but I’d be willing to bet that over the last couple of years when the Sabres were missing the playoffs there were two main problems: 1 – they lost the majority of their one-goal games, and 2 – they lost games they shouldn’t have (see: Thrashers, Atlanta).

Being able to hold a lead in a tight game is the mark of a calm, in-control team. True – a goaltender who is playing great certainly helps, sticking to your defense scheme (aka THE SYSTEM) helps, but it’s more than that. This team, like the teams we all knew and loved a few years ago, never feels like they’re out of a game.

I’m not saying the 09-10 Sabres don’t turn in dud performances. They do, of course. But every team does (see Penguins, Pittsburgh, 12/29/09 vs Sabres, Buffalo). But getting those two points in close games is one of the reasons I think this team is making the playoffs. I don’t expect them to the win the Cup (sorry, boys), but I expect them to do some damage, even if they play Ottawa. Yes, even Ottawa.

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