After winning eight games in a row to begin March, the Sabres have gone 1-7-1 in their last nine. During that span, they've been outscored 39-19. Granted, they've been dealing with a bit of an injury bug and an iffy suspension to Daniel Briere, but this is not the kind of play Sabres fans are excited about.
In mid-March, there was hope that the Sabres would finish tops in the Northeast division with a top two spot in the playoffs. Now, however, they are in danger of slipping into a fifth seed in the playoffs. If things go horrifically wrong, they could slip as far down as the sixth spot.
I already outlined the remaining games for Ottawa and for Carolina. After posting that, I realized that Buffalo's road is extremely rough down the stretch.
Here again is that table, with the addition of Buffalo's nightmarish stretch:
I think Buffalo would be doing well to win four of their remaining eight games. That would be enough to hold on to the fourth seed and home ice in a first round matchup against what will most likely be Philly.
The bad news is that they'll start the "real season" without any momentum. The good news is that by then, they will have Teppo Numminen and Jochen Hecht back in action. The even better news is that their first round opponent is likely to be Philly, who they have beaten all three times they have played thus far this season.
After all that, the point is that the Sabres don't really have anything to worry about. Yes, their current losing streak sucks, and yes the road ahead looks more like a dark tunnel with no light at the end. However, things should be just fine for the first round of the playoffs.
3 years ago