I will be breaking down the Sabres’ scoring and defense from the 2009-2010 season, starting with their even strength performance. All stats come from NHL.com. On the year, Buffalo had 159 Goals For (GF) 5 on 5, 7 GF 4 on 4, for a total of 166. On the flip side, they ceded 145 Goals Against (GA) 5 on 5, 8 GA 4 on 4, for a total of 153. They had no scoring for or against 3 on 3, which is pretty rare anyway. The Sabres were 7th at 5 on 5 scoring, and 11th as far as 5 on 5 goals given up.
These are solid numbers, especially in the context of the Eastern Conference, where only two teams were better in overall scoring. Buffalo had a balanced scoring attack overall, with 12 players in double digits. Thomas Vanek led the way with 28, 18 of which were at even strength. Jochen Hecht actually tied with Vanek as far as goals at even strength, though, with 18. Both missed some time, it go to show how much Hecht and Vanek were missed in the Boston series.
Barring a trade or other move, Clarke MacArthur is the only one of those 12 who is gone (traded to Atlanta), so there shouldn’t be a huge dropoff next year. What Buffalo needs, though, is a consistent centerman for Vanek to get his production back up to the 40 goal plateau. Lindy shuffled things a lot last season, trying to get Vanek going. We’ll see what happens July 1.