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CONFUSION OVER SABRES SLUMP; WHEN A LOSS ISN'T A LOSS

Thursday, 01.17.2008 / 11:50 AM / News
The Canadian Press
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CONFUSION OVER SABRES SLUMP; WHEN A LOSS ISN\'T A LOSS
Nathan Paetsch (Photo: Getty Images)
TORONTO - When is a loss not a loss?

In the NHL, when it's in overtime. Or in a shootout. Not that this is new by any means, but the NHL's post-lockout standings format continues to confuse some people.

The latest case involves the Buffalo Sabres. They are not, contrary to some media reports, on a team-record 10-game losing streak. The NHL officially deems Buffalo's current slump as a 10-game winless streak because five of their games during the stretch have gone to extra time. They're 0-5-5 in their last 10.

"It's not a losing streak," Benny Ercolani, the NHL's longtime chief statistician, said Thursday. "It's a winless streak because some of those games didn't go in the loss column. Once they go into overtime, they get a point and it doesn't go into the loss column. It's nothing new."

So officially, Buffalo's franchise record losing streak of eight, set Jan. 15-Feb. 13, 2003, remains intact.

"That's correct," said Ercolani.

The NHL went to the current standings format when introducing the shootout for the 2005-06 season. Any defeat in overtime or in the shootout goes in the third category called "overtime." So it's win, loss or overtime.

What no longer exists in the NHL is an undefeated streak. Only winning streaks, losing streaks, or winless streaks.

The Sabres don't have to worry about coming close to the NHL all-time record of 17 losses in a row, shared by the 1974-75 Washington Capitals and 1992-93 San Jose Sharks. But 20 more games without a win and the Sabres would match the NHL record for a winless streak, the 30-game mark set by the 1980-81 Winnipeg Jets (0-23-7).

Buffalo's last win was a 6-5 shootout victory in Philadelphia on Dec. 22. This is Buffalo's longest winless streak since Oct. 25-Nov. 19, 2002, when they went 12 games (0-9-3) without a win. That's also tied for the longest winless streak in franchise history. The Sabres went 0-8-4 from Nov. 23 to Dec. 20, 1991.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82