BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Sabres have left me speechless.
At the start of the 2018-19 NHL season most people thought the Buffalo Sabres would be fighting for a playoff spot and end up finishing in the ninth or tenth spot of the Eastern Conference. Fast forward to Nov. 29, the Sabres 10 game winning streak comes to an end at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fans in Buffalo thought their team was back and finally after years of suffering they would see playoff hockey again. As of April 1, the Buffalo Sabres are 2-14-2 since the trade deadline. Neither of the two wins came in regulation. They have also been outscored 75-35 and have been shutout five times.
The only good thing we can say about this stretch is, at least fans can see young players like D Will Borgen, RW Alex Nylander, RW Victor Olofsson, and D Lawrence Pilut. Olofsson is a seventh round pick who lead the SHL in scoring last season and is playing his first season in North America and helped get the Amerks to the playoffs. Borgen has been a solid defensemen in Rochester after joining the Amerks after finishing his career at St. Cloud State in the 2017-18 season, he will provide depth for years to come for the Sabres. We have seen a lot of Pilut this season and he will be a regular next season with the big club. Nylander needs to have a really good summer, but he will probably be on the Sabres roster to open up the 2019-20 season.
Look for the Sabres to have a new head coach next season. After the mess the past two seasons have been, chances are Phil Housley will be fired the day after the season finale against the Detroit Red Wings.
One thing that Sabres fans didn’t think they would need to follow this season is the Sabres lottery odds. Well there is a chance the Sabres could finish 30th in the league and have the second best odds at drafting first overall in June’s NHL draft. There is another franchise changing player this year in C Jack Hughes. If the Sabres could win the lottery again (never thought I’d need to say that again) they would have three really good centers in Jack Eichel, Casey Mittlestadt and Hughes.
Even though the future has a chance to be great, the Sabres get your hope up and then they rip your heart out. Who knows where the Sabres will be next season, but it can’t get much worse than this season.
Statistics as of April 1, 2019