The new and improved Buffalo Sabres are currently on a six game win-less streak and have 18 points. Their record stands at 8-12-2 after 22 games, with two games left to play in November. Last season’s Sabres at the end of November were 8-14-2, again for 18 points. Surprised?

Memories can fade, especially with all the buzz about Jack Eichel and the new roster on the ice for Buffalo. But, last year’s team was on a similar pace at this point in the season.

Now I’m not predicting a last place finish for Dan Bylsma’s team. I’m just pointing out that as much as things have changed, the Sabres still have a long way to go.

Last season the Sabres had a decent November going 6-6-1 and their December record was almost as good at 6-7-1, with a strong 6-2 stretch at home. If you remember the local radio talk show hosts were freaking out that Ted Nolan’s team was screwing up the “tank” and hurting their chances for a shot at Connor McDavid.

The “tank” was safe however after several key injuries and moves made by Sabres GM Tim Murray. The 2014/15 Sabres went win-less in January and won only nine games the remainder of the season.

I bring this up in part because I’m tired of hearing how much better the current coaching staff is than the one behind the bench under Nolan. I’ve even heard one reporter assigned to the team claim that Nolan had no system at all, just stressed hard work as the key to success. If that were true how did Nolan’s squad have the same amount of points as the current team nearing the end of the second month of the season?

I’m not pointing a finger at Dan Bylsma. The new Sabres head-man has had plenty of success over his career, but also plenty of talent along the way. His new team does not have the skill level of his teams in Pittsburgh and certainly not the scoring touch.

This current team could use some of Nolan’s work ethic philosophy and come out stronger, especially at home. Too often the current team needs a period or two to get their legs under them and play with more determination and desperation. The loss to Nashville Wednesday a key example.

I don’t expect the 2016 Sabres to finish in the running for one of the top two NHL draft picks again, but it’s clear they still have a way to go before we run out and buy playoff tickets.

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