There's no arguing that the 2013 Buffalo Sabres were not a good team. They had many problems, but among them were a lack of top-level talent and also a lack of offensive depth.
After having a conversation over the weekend, however, I think the Sabres might be in more trouble than I originally thought. I was talking with my friend Mike about the talent on the remaining playoff teams when this question came up:
"Would anybody on the current Sabres roster be considered one of the top four players on any of the remaining playoff teams?"
We chatted for a bit, and came to the depressing conclusion that, though you could make a few arguments here or there, we weren't sure anyone would qualify.
The only players we really considered for this exercise were Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, and Christian Ehrhoff. Sorry Cody Hodgson, Tyler Myers, Tyler Ennis, and Andrej Sekera, but we're not even sure you're in the top four on this team, let along a playoff team. Let's go through the playoffs team by team and see if you agree.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang. Pretty cut and dry here.
Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Jaromir Jagr. I'd listen to an argument for Miller over Rask, but you could easily make one the other way as well.
Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa. Again, pretty cut and dry, though if you want to argue Hossa out for Vanek I suppose you could try.
Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Franzen and Kronwall are better than anything dressed in blue and gold.
HAHAHAHAHA (Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter)
Marleau, Thornton, Couture, Boyle, Pavelski. Again, not much of an opening here for Vanek. Miller, maybe.
Is there anyone on those lists who pales in comparison to Vanek, Miller, or Ehrhoff? I'm not sure, and that thought gets really depressing when you consider that Miller and Vanek may not even be on the Sabres next season if rumors prove true.
It was obvious that the Buffalo Sabres weren't talented enough to make the playoffs, but looking at this argument, they might be even further away from serious contention than we'd like to think.