The Buffalo Sabres are once again one of the worst teams in the National Hockey League. They expected to come into this season playing well after a good year last year.
Unfortunately, they are 13-17-3 which is good for 29 standings points. That is seven points below the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference but they have 33 games played which is four more than the Washington Capitals who hold that final spot. Things are not looking good.
Being in the lottery conversation looks more likely in terms of math than the playoffs at this point for Buffalo. There is a lot of hockey left to go but this is not where they wanted to be more than a quarter into the season.
There are lots of players doing what they need to be doing here but there are a few that are falling short of expectations. These are the three players that deserve the most blame:
Tage Thompson has not been good enough for the Buffalo Sabres
Tage Thompson has dealt with some injuries so far this year but he has now gotten into 24 games. In those 24 games, he has eight goals and eight assists for 16 points.
That isn't completely horrible offensive production for a forward but it is far below the leadership production that is needed from a player of his caliber. He was paid like a top scorer and he has been anything but that.
If he is playing, the Sabres need more from him. In 2022-23, he had 47 goals and 47 assists for 94 points in 78 games played. If he can back to that type of pace, the Sabres might be able to get back on track and start winning some games.