Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sabres Rise to the Playoffs - The Time is Now

I tend to agree with Corey Griswold over at The Goose's Roost.  The team is not good, is not a playoff caliber team, and will play just well enough down the stretch to keep things interesting for a little while.  The Islanders game was so telling to me.  The Sabres need to win basically every game against bad teams and a couple against good teams to make the playoffs, and they fell so disgustingly flat against the Islanders.

But if you are one of those fans who likes to look on the bright side of things and hope for the best (and I do), then the next eight games are the most important of the season.  Let's look at the standings:

With a few games in hand, the Sabres situation looks much more favorable now than it has in weeks past.  The problem of course, is that they need to win them, something they've shown an inability to do so far.  However, if they win those games, they're sitting two points back of Atlanta.  Not bad.

Additionally, those three teams have been fading for some time and look to continue to do so.  The Canadiens just suffered injuries to Halpern, Pacioretty, and Cammaleri at the hands of the Sabres to add to the losses of Markov and Gorges, the Rangers just lost their top scorer Dubinsky for 3-4 weeks, and the Thrashers are finally showing what I suspected all along, that they just aren't that good.

Meanwhile Buffalo has a fairly agreeable schedule coming up, again, provided they don't shit the bed against teams they should beat like they did against the Islanders.

Jan 20th - @ Boston
Jan 21st - vs. NYI
Jan 23rd - @NYI
Jan 25th - @Ottawa
Feb 4th - @Pittsburgh
Feb 5th - vs. Toronto
Feb 8th - @ Tampa Bay
Feb 10th - @ Florida
Feb 13th - vs. NYI
Feb 15th - @ Montreal
Feb 16th - vs. Toronto

Now if the Sabres do what they're supposed to and beat the mediocre to bad teams in that grouping, they'll got 8-3 and probably either find themselves in the eighth spot, or in the ninth spot and knocking on the door.  Big if.  If they're middling again, and go 6-5 or something similar, I think even the most optimistic fans can write the season off and join the Pegula conversations.

1 comment:

  1. It'll sure be interesting to see how exactly the Sabres do in the next few games. I'm hoping they can get out of this funk with losing against worse teams than them that's been going on for a few years now.