An NHL general manager was perusing the roster of the Buffalo Sabres with a litany of young, emerging talent at all positions and was chagrined, predicting that before long, all of the teams in the conference would be required to look up the standings to find the Sabres. Such is the benefit of bottoming out. Between 1979-2009, 10 NHL teams picked in the top two selections of the entry draft in successive years, as the Sabres also did in 2014 and 2015. Five of those 10 teams ended up making it to the Stanley Cup final and three of them won the Cup.
No one has to inform Sabres coach Dan Bylsma of this fact. He was behind the bench for one of those three Cup-winning teams, the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Sabres are part of a unique NHL fraternity, though they would gladly surrender their membership in this exclusive club.
Buffalo is one of six current NHL teams to have appeared in the Stanley Cup final without ever winning a Cup, a group that also includes the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks.
The Sabres (twice), Blues (three) and Canucks (three) are the only teams in this bunch to have failed in their final mission mutilple times. Buffalo fell at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1974-75 and Dallas Stars in 1998-99, both in six-game series.
Buffalo Sabres Betting Lines Today
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Buffalo Sabres Scores & Schedule
The Buffalo Sabres scores and schedule listed here highlight many age-old rivalries for the team with their fellow Atlantic Division clubs.
Five of the eight teams within the Atlantic Division previously were housed in what was the NHL’s East Division when the Sabres first joined the NHL in 1970, so there’s plenty of history at work here.
The close geopgraphic proximity of the Toronto Maple Leafa guaranteed this would be Buffalo’s most enduring rivalry and it didn’t hurt that the Sabres’ first coach-GM was legendary former Leafs bench boss Punch Imlach. On game night in Buffalo when the Leafs are the visitors, it’s often difficult to decipher which is the home team.
The Montreal Canadiens were the opponents in Buffalo’s first-ever playoff series, a postseason appearance that was earned after a hard-fought battle for the final playoff spot with the Detroit Red Wings. In the old Adams Division days, the Boston Bruins and the Sabres also went through some bitter playoff battles.
Buffalo Sabres Standings Right Now
The Buffalo Sabres up-to-date standings can be located below and the limited progress up the ladder made by the Sabres despite their significant turnaround in fortunes during the 2015-16 displays exactly what a battle it is to make the playoffs in the NHL today.
Despite jumping from 54 to 81 points, the Sabres, who were last overall in both the Eastern Conference and the NHL during the 2014-15 season, only moved up two spots in the East to 14th and finished 23rd overall in the 30-team NHL.
Yes, the Sabres are getting better but there’s still a ways to go before they can be considered to be anything resembling a contender.
|4||Columbus Blue Jackets||83||60||29||16||199||145|
|6||New York Rangers||82||62||33||20||206||164|
|7||San Jose Sharks||79||61||29||18||170||145|
|15||Toronto Maple Leafs||69||61||22||20||189||182|
|16||New York Islanders||68||61||25||22||180||182|
|17||St. Louis Blues||67||61||24||25||172||177|
|19||Los Angeles Kings||65||62||18||27||154||156|
|20||Tampa Bay Lightning||64||61||23||25||171||171|
|23||New Jersey Devils||62||62||17||25||145||180|
|26||Detroit Red Wings||58||60||14||26||150||178|
How To Win At Buffalo Sabres Betting
The Sabres took skilled centres Sam Reinhart (2014) and Jack Eichel (2015) with those conseuctive No. 2 overall draft picks and the duo paid dividends in 2015-16, each reaching the 20-goal plateau, the first duo of Buffalo rookies to do so since Danny Gare and Peter McNab in 1974-75.
Buffalo didn’t make the playoffs in 2015-16, but showed upticks in levels all over the place. The Sabres jumped from 23 to 35 wins and improved from 161 to 201 goals scored, while dropping their goals against to 222 from 274. Buffalo also leaped from 29th to 12th in the league on the power play.
The Sabres aren’t there yet but they are getting there at a rapid pace.
The Sabres are deep in skilled forwards and seemed to have found a solution between the posts, but it’s their defence that may slow their rise to a place among the NHL elite. Buffalo doesn’t have what can be considered a No. 1 blueliner, with veterans Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges, who are better suited as a second pairing, being asked to punch above their weight class.
Eventually, the Sabres envision young Rasmus Ristolainen evolving into the type of defender who can fill this role but they will need more than him to develop in order to fashion themselves into a playoff club.
During both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 season the Buffalo Sabres were last in the NHL in goals scored but that’s a problem they have rectified through a combination of the draft and the trade route.
The draft provided Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, while deals brought in Evander Kane and Ryan O’Reilly and each of this quartet potted 20 goals during the 2015-16 campaign.
Buffalo is suddenly deep down the all-important middle with O’Reilly, Eichel and Reinhart, a good building block to start the assembly of a playoff squad.