By Mike Harrington
VANCOUVER -- The Sabres are mired in 30th place in the NHL and the Edmonton Oilers are struggling to get out of 29th but they had been going well (10-4-3) until Buffalo's 3-1 win Thursday in Rexall Place. By the tenor of Friday's Edmonton newspapers, you'd have thought the Oil was in the thick of the playoff hunt and not washed up weeks agao.
The Oilers took a beating in their hometown media Friday, as the pictures that accompany this post show. Veteran Sun columnist Terry Jones called the game a "Grade A Large egg" in his column, pictured at left and linked above.
Oilers star Taylor Hall was left to answer whether the NHL's 29th-place team could have actually taken someone lightly. He didn't seem too pleased at getting those questions.
The win was the Sabres' 20th of the season, making them the last team in the NHL to reach that mark and ensuring they wouldn't join the 1971-72 team as the only ones in franchise history to not win 20 a season. Oddly enough, the Sabres won 22 and 21 games, respectively, in the lockout seasons of 1995 and 2013.
And the franchise record-low of 51 points from the 71-72 team that went 16-43-19 should be safe. The current Sabres have 48 points and still have 12 games to go.
In regulation, the Sabres have beaten Florida, Toronto, Winnipeg, Boston, New Jersey, Columbus, Phoenix, Carolina, San Jose, Tampa Bay and Edmonton. They've beaten Toronto, Phoenix and Boston a second time, all in overtime. And they have shootout wins over the New York Islanders, San Jose, Los Angeles, Ottawa and Washington (twice).
So two wins apiece over Boston and San Jose, as well as Toronto, Phoenix and Washington.
Hey Edmonton: Settle down.