DBTB predicts the 2019-20 Sabres

The editorial staff makes some predictions for the season ahead

“The 2019-20 Buffalo Sabres hockey season is here.”

Let’s try this again, mustering up a bit more enthusiasm...

“The 2019-20 Buffalo Sabres hockey season is here.”

Yeah, it’s going to be that kind of year isn’t it?

On one hand, it’s almost guaranteed to be a better season than some of the absolutely horrendous AHL-standard hockey we’ve witnessed in recent years, but as fans we’ve also been ground down by years and years of futility without meaningful hockey, so our almost-apathy is quite understandable.

Still, if the Sabres are around then so are you fans, and so is Die By The Blade. And in that vein, we got the editorial team to come up with their season predictions for Buffalo. Some categories are (almost) no-brainers, and others can get quite interesting.

Team MVP

Jack Eichel - Anthony, Ryan, Ben, Erik, Max, Alexander, Calvin, Zach, Steve
Sam Reinhart - Chad
Rasmus Dahlin - Melissa

Just about everyone went with Eichel here, though an argument could probably be made for Dahlin too (Melissa) while Chad is seeing Reinhart having an incredible season.

Leading Goalscorer

Jeff Skinner - Anthony, Ryan, Chad, Ben, Erik, Max, Alexander, Calvin, Steve
Jack Eichel - Zach, Melissa

Again it seems the majority went with last season’s top marksman Skinner, though with Zach and last year’s predictions winner Melissa going with Eichel, maybe they’re onto something?

Surprise Player

Conor Sheary - Anthony, Ben, Alexander
Rasmus Ristolainen - Ryan
Jimmy Vesey - Chad
Marcus Johansson - Erik, Max, Melissa
Vladimir Sobotka - Calvin
Colin Miller - Zach
Linus Ullmark - Steve

We left the guidelines around ‘surprise player’ pretty loose, but it’s basically which player would exceed your expectations this season. Many see a Sheary upward correction in shooting percentage giving him a great season, while Johansson is a popular pick too. It is a contract year for Vesey, so does he excel? And Sobotka.. that Calvin is one crazy guy isn’t he?

Best Defenseman

Rasmus Dahlin - Everyone ever

This category in hindsight seems almost unnecessary as we all know who the best dman on this Sabres team is. From the apart-from-Dahlin category though, Chad and Melissa went with Miller while Anthony chimed in with Brandon Montour.

Total Team Points

81 - Anthony
83 - Melissa
84 - Chad, Erik
85 - Ryan, Calvin, Zach, Steve
86 - Ben
87 - Max, Alexander

Almost a perfect bell-curve distribution here, almost.


No - Sigh, everyone.

I think we all want to believe, but it’s just not there. Or as Steve responded.. playLOLfs?!

Bold Prediction

This is where things got fun, definitely some interesting hot taeks in here.

Anthony - Skinner just barely edges out Olofsson for most goals on the team.
Ryan - Olofsson scores 20+ goals.
Chad - Sam Reinhart scores 30 goals.
Ben - Six players score 20+ goals.
Erik - Ristolainen gets a deadline day deal.
Max - Sabres trade their 1st rounder this year.
Alexander - Vladimir Sobotka is traded before Christmas.
Calvin - Olofsson scores 50+ points.
Zach - Miller & Dahlin emerge as one of the NHLs best defense pairings.
Steve - Gilmour starts more games than Pilut
Melissa - Sam Reinhart will be a 30+ goal scorer this season.

As always, we’ll come back and take a look at these predictions at the end of the season to see how far off the mark we were, or how on the money we got. Chime in below in the comments section and play along.. and in this 50th anniversary of the franchise’s existence, don’t forget, Go Sabres!