The Buffalo Sabres roared out to a 8-2-1 record in the month of October. October has not been the issue for the Sabres in recent years, they have roared out of the gate most seasons since the lockout. November has been a different story the past two seasons.
November has proved to be a key month for the Sabres over the past four seasons. Last season the Sabres went just 5-7-1 in November after a successful October and the rest of the season went into the tank. The 2007-2008 season was much of the same with the Sabres managing a 6-6-1 record.
This month the Sabres have an opportunity to get some separation from some of the teams in the Eastern Conference but it won't be easy. In a scheduling oddity, that was brought up by Krytime in the comments, the Sabres play every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in the month of November. That gives the team four sets of back-to-back games.
Back-to-back games have not been friendly to the Sabres this season. The only two losses the Sabres have suffered have been in the second game of back-to-backs. I thought the Sabres played well on Saturday against the Islanders but it is hard to forget it was the second game of a back-to-back.
Losing the second game of back-to-back games is nothing new to the Sabres. Last season the Sabres had a 9-6-1 in the first game but a 5-9-2 record in the second game of back-to-back games. That makes the month of November even that more important to the Sabres because very seldom do you see a team play four sets of back-to-back games in one month.
There was also plenty of discussion about the Sabres soft schedule in the month of October. November will be a chance for the Sabres to prove their critics wrong. They will play the Philadelphia Flyers three times this month and the Boston Bruins twice. There are also single games against the Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals. Games against the Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs will round out the November schedule.