Has anybody taken the time to contact the local authorities and put out an APB on our captain? He’s nowhere to be found in the last several weeks. Guys like Stafford and Foligno have been vilified in the media due to their lack of production, but for some reason, nobody’s grumbling about Jason Pominville. It seems like we’ve given him a Get Out of Jail Free card. In fact, I would be willing to bet that most fans don’t know that he’s even struggling. To say that Pommer has gone cold would be a gross understatement. Over the last 11 games, he has a grand total of 1 point. That came from scoring the lone goal in Buffalo’s 2-1 loss to Winnipeg on February 19th.
So naturally his line is struggling and that’s affecting his ability to rack up points, right? They started so hot that it was inevitable that they would eventually cool down. Not really the case. Although they haven’t continued at the incredible pace of the first 10 games, line mates Cody Hodgson and Thomas Vanek have continued to produce. If we compare production from the first 10 games to the last 11 games for all 3 of them we see that overall their numbers have declined, but only Pominville has disappeared completely.
It’s hard to fathom that while Hodgson and Vanek have scored 7 goals in those games, Pominville hasn’t assisted on one of them. You probably wonder if he was on the ice for all of them. He was. Every single one of them. Here is a list of the last 7 goals scored by Hodgson and Vanek.
It’s almost as hard to be on the ice as a forward for seven goals and not assist on one of them as it is to play 17 games and have zero penalty minutes (like Mikhail Grigorenko has). You could actually try not to get any points and still end up with an assist or two. There has to be some element of bad luck in there. But when it comes down to it, Pominville isn’t making the plays that are resulting in goals.
After the first ten games, it looked like Vanek and Pominville were in another world and were going to score more points than the rest of the team combined. Just a few short weeks later, Jason Pominville sits 4th on the team in points. He has been passed in scoring by Hodgson and Tyler Ennis, who has 11 points (5G, 6A) to lead the team in the last 11 games.
On a positive note, Pominville did lead the Sabres in last night’s win with 4 shots on goal and scored the final nail-in-the-coffin goal in the shootout. Maybe that’s we he needed to get going again. Whatever it is that he needs, I hope he finds it soon. A captain that doesn’t produce isn’t what you want. They are supposed to lead by example. To this point, I think Pommer has done that well. He continues to lead all forwards in ice time and can plan in all roles that Coach Rolston needs him to, but he has to start finding the score sheet again.
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LET’S GO BUFFALO!