With five games left in what has turned out to be a miserable season, things are looking pretty dismal for the Buffalo Sabres right now. The team heads into its final week of action on a five-game losing streak, and at this point, it’s sadly not out of the question that the team could not win another game this season.
The last time the Sabres won was March 17, a stretch of nearly two weeks. Prior to that 4-3 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues, the Sabres had lost seven straight.
Since defeating the Blues on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s been rough, starting with a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on home ice on March 20. Casey Mittelstadt and Alexander Nylander both scored for the Sabres, but they couldn’t contain the offensive powers of players like John Tavares and Auston Matthews and were outshot a whopping 46-24.
After a few days off, the Sabres fell to the Canadiens in Montreal by a score of 7-4. Although the Sabres certainly gave it an effort, rallying back from 3-1 and 5-2 deficits, it didn’t matter in the end, when they gave up two goals in the last 4:30 of regulation. Again, the Sabres were outshot by a wide margin: 44-27.
They then lost 3-1 to the New Jersey Devils before dropping a 4-0 decision to the last-place Ottawa Senators. Sam Reinhart had the only goal in that set of games, and the Sabres gave up three power play goals, including two to the Devils. Buffalo actually outshot New Jersey 46-21, but it didn’t seem to matter.
The Sabres returned home on Thursday to face a struggling Detroit Red Wings team, but ultimately fell in overtime. They twice overcame two-goal deficits, with Jack Eichel tying the game with under five to play in regulation. Hey, at least they got a point.... if that matters.
Heading into Friday’s games, the Sabres are 26th in the NHL with 72 points and a record of 31-36-10. Technically, they can still fall even further, but definitely won’t finish 31st in the league - mathematically, it’s not possible.
So, when will the Sabres win again?
Here’s a look at their remaining games and opponents:
March 30 @ New York Islanders
The Islanders are a tough team this season, and Saturday’s contest won’t be a breeze. The Isles are sixth in the NHL right now with 97 points and a 45-26-7 record, along with a plus-25 goal differential. They haven’t yet technically clinched a playoff spot, but they’re up there.
March 31 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets are 13th in the NHL entering Friday, with 90 points and a record of 43-30-4. Columbus is fighting hard for a wild card spot in the playoffs, and entering Friday, they’re in - but with Montreal (90 points, but Columbus has a game in hand) and Carolina (91) right up there with them, it still could go either way.
April 2 vs. Nashville Predators
The Predators have already clinched a playoff spot, but they’ll still look to finish the season off strong. Nashville has gone 43-28-6 this season with 92 points.
April 4 vs. Ottawa Senators
The Senators are the worst team in the NHL at this point but could finish as “high” as 28th if they were to win all the rest of their games (and have other teams lose). That being said, this is a game the Sabres should win, or at least have a chance of winning. But as we’ve seen in the past few weeks, it may not matter how bad their opponent is if the Sabres themselves can’t get their acts together.
April 6 @ Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings are struggling. They’re 28th in the NHL, aren’t going to make the playoffs, and have recorded only 68 points in a season that’s seen them go 29-38-10. They’re a few points shy of the Sabres right now, but this still could be another loss, as we saw from Thursday’s overtime decision.
So - what do you think, folks? Will the Sabres win any of these remaining games? Between their recent struggles, season-long struggles and now all the injuries & illnesses - from Rasmus Ristolainen to Zach Bogosian, Evan Rodrigues and Jake McCabe all out - let’s just get this last week over with.
Oh, and sign Skinner.
When will the Sabres win again?
This poll is closed
March 30 vs. NYI
March 31 vs. CBJ
April 2 vs. NSH
April 4 vs. OTT
April 6 vs. DET
The 2019-2020 season