2014 Buffalo Sabres Season Preview
2013 was a year to forget for Buffalo Sabres fans. The Sabres finished the season with a record of 21-51 and had the lowest win total and points total in the NHL. It was the 3rd year in a row that Buffalo did not qualify for the playoffs and the 5th time in 7 years. But there is major reason for Buffalo Sabres fans to be optimistic coming into 2014, because the team made some major moves in the offseason. Sabres GM Tim Murray brought in Brian Gionta, Andre Benoit, and Josh Gorges to try and change the culture around the team quickly. They will team with Cody Hodgson and try to win with a star by committee approach. There is little doubt that the Sabres will be vastly improved upon their bleak season in 2013 and many of the players are not convinced that the team can’t sneak into one of the Eastern Conferences wide open wild card playoff spots. Either way it will be fun to watch what looks to be an entirely different Buffalo Sabres Hockey team for 2014.
2013 Buffalo Sabres Season Preview
This is a new Sabres team, and Buffalo fans are hoping the rebuilding process happens as quickly as possible. The Sabres traded captain Jason Pominville in the offseason, but have brought in defensemen Henrik Tallinder and Jamie McBain through trades as well. The #8 overall pick in the 2013 draft, Rasmus Ristolainen will play with the team this season instead of going down to the minor league system. The team is young, especially at the forward position, and they’ll be looking to sneak into a playoff spot this season. The Sabres will have key home games early on in the season against the Kings on Nov. 12, the Maple Leafs on Nov. 26 and Canadiens on Nov. 27. They’ll face defending champion Chicago on March 9, but we’ll know way before then what to expect from this Buffalo team.
2012 Buffalo Sabres Season Preview
The Buffalo Sabres had high hopes entering the 2011-12 season, but fell to 14th place in the Eastern Conference by the All-Star Break. Although the team was able to maintain a late-season surge and climb into the last playoff spot, they ultimately lost a tiebreaker to the Washington Capitals and finished the season with a 39-32-11 record. Heading into the 2012-13 season, the Sabres have experienced a few changes offensively and defensively, but the core of the team is still intact and ready to show that their disappointing year was just an aberration. Offensively, the Sabres will have to overcome the loss of center Derek Roy, but still have very talented wingers in Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek. Pominville led the Sabres in goals, assists and points during the 2011-12 season, so he figures to be one of the most important role players in the Sabres' offense. Cody Hodgson is expected to be the top center for the Sabres this year, but new additions like Steve Ott, Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons could vie for playing time as well. An improvement in depth is one of the Sabres' brightest spots heading into the new season, which should keep the lines fresh and improve the team's scoring attack. On defense, the Sabres need to see a marked improvement from defenseman Tyler Myers, but should benefit from stronger play on the blue line from Christian Ehrloff and Jordan Leopold. The team also has great depth behind them with Robyn Regehr and Andrej Sekera. Regehr lead the team with 112 blocked shots, and was one of the most important penalty kill players on the roster during last season. By far, the most important player on the Sabres' squad is goaltender Ryan Miller, who has proven to be one of the best goalies in the NHL. While Miller was injured during the 2011-12 season, his backup Jhonas Enroth gained valuable playing time which could pay off this year. The Sabres will open up the 2012-13 season against the Pittsburgh Penguins at home, and luckily for them, they will play all of last year's Western Conference playoff teams at home as well. Other highlights include a New Year's Eve game against their archrival, the Ottawa Senators, and a Super Bowl Sunday showdown against the St. Louis Blues. Although the Sabres have undergone only a few changes during the offseason, they are hoping that their younger players can take the next step and get the team back into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
2011 Buffalo Sabres Season Preview
A number of talented players will be playing in Buffalo next year, including Brad Boyes and Derek Roy. Goaltender Ryan Miller will also be returning to the team, who has posted admirable statistics in past years. In the 2010-11 regular season, Miller was the 12th ranked goalie in the NHL.
2010 Buffalo Sabres Season Preview
The Buffalo Sabres had a solid regular season last year, but Ryan Miller disappointed between the pipes in the first round of the playoffs, they were quickly upset by the Boston Bruins. This season, the Sabres return much of the same team as last year, and will be looking to avoid the post-season flare out that plagued them in 2010. The offense will be highlighted by several recent acquisitions including Shaone Morrisonn, who should provide a legitmate scoring threat. Also leading the offense will be center Derek Roy, who lead the team last year with 69 points on 26 goals and 43 assists. The production of Tim Connolly and Thomas Vanek, who netted 28 goals last season, should make up for the loss of forward Raffi Torres during the offseason. The defense is centered around Miller's goaltending. Miller, who had an outstanding regular season as well as a legendary Olympic run with Team USA, was somewhat of a disappointment during the playoffs and this team will likely go as far as he takes them. Buffalo also signed Rob Niedermayer to provide some stability in the back line.
2009 Buffalo Sabres Season Preview
The 2009-2010 NHL season should be a good one for the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres barely missed the NHL playoffs last season, so expect Buffalo to rebound with a successful trip to the 2010 postseason. Sabres' Head Coach Lindy Ruff will rely on a solid team that is led by captain Craig Rivet to propel Buffalo to the top of the Northeast Division.