The Buffalo Sabres skate onto the ice after a win at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Dave Sandford Getty Images)
For the penultimate question on the '12 Questions For Christmas' segment, we look back about a year ago when the Sabres were wallowing in the basement of the conference after going 3-9-2 in the beginning of the season. From that position they started their long hard road to playoff redemption, and can they do it again?
#2 - Will the team improve in the second half of the season?
Last year going into the Christmas break the Sabres were stuck in 12th place, having lost a disappointing game to the Panthers in which Derek Roy was injured and subsequently out until Game 7 of the first round playoff series against the Flyers. From that position the Sabres got better, and their record in the new year was quite impressive: going 8-3-1 in January, 6-4-2 in February, 10-4-2 in March and closing out the regular season in April 4-0-1.
This season at the Yuletide intermission the Sabres are 11th, and star winger Thomas Vanek is day-to-day with an undisclosed upper body injury. Could this be the 'coming to Jesus' moment (thanks FloridaBuffalo) that this team needs? Every time we have hit misfortune and adversity this year we have hoped that this is the turning point, but we haven't seen much turning yet. Most of the cast is still the same here, and were able to turn things around last year when teh calendar turned to 2011; can they turn it on again as we enter 2012?
So, do you feel the team can get better from this point on? Do they come together and play harder on the road? And stick to the basics and start winning at home?