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matter2003

Is it really ridiculous to think the Sabres could overtake Toronto and Florida to make the playoffs?

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Far be it from me to predict this will happen, but both Florida and Toronto have been pretty bad lately, and the Sabres have closed to within 6 points of the Leafs for the final playoff spot with a game in hand, that could make it 4 points if they win that.  

Part of the issue people had was looking at last month in regards to their playoff chances were all the teams they would have to leapfrog for the wildcard spots, but that is a pipe dream right now as there is no way they are catching any of those teams or leapfrogging that many in the Metropolitan division.  However, with Toronto and Florida struggling and the Sabres finally surging a little bit, it has brought them to within realistic striking distance of the 3rd divisional playoff spot in the Atlantic, something nobody could have predicted when the season started, and not that hard to imagine them leapfrogging 2 teams instead of 5 or 6.  I don't think anyone thought the Sabres would have a better shot at making the playoffs by finishing 3rd in the division versus getting in as a wildcard.  

That being said, do you think the Sabres make this last month and a half of hockey interesting down to the wire or do they fade away into the abyss at some point again?

Edited by matter2003

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Toronto is on a downward spiral and nothing appears to want to change it. Florida just sold off at the deadline.  
 

We have a really hard schedule up ahead, but have been playing pretty well outside of a few Hutton stink sessions and bolstered our forward depth albeit only slightly, but got more physical and skilled at the very least. 

 

It’s a test. Hope Ullmark can come back and JJ can keep playing like he did against the peg

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4 minutes ago, matter2003 said:

Far be it from me to predict this will happen, but both Florida and Toronto have been pretty bad lately, and the Sabres have closed to within 6 points of the Leafs for the final playoff spot with a game in hand, that could make it 4 points if they win that.  

Part of the issue people had was looking at last month in regards to their playoff chances were all the teams they would have to leapfrog for the wildcard spots, but that is a pipe dream right now as there is no way they are catching any of those teams or leapfrogging that many in the Metropolitan division.  However, with Toronto and Florida struggling and the Sabres finally surging a little bit, it has brought them to within realistic striking distance of the 3rd divisional playoff spot in the Atlantic, something nobody could have predicted when the season started, and not that hard to imagine them leapfrogging 2 teams instead of 5 or 6.  I don't think anyone thought the Sabres would have a better shot at making the playoffs by finishing 3rd in the division versus getting in as a wildcard.  

That being said, do you think the Sabres make this last month and a half of hockey interesting down to the wire or do they fade away into the abyss at some point again?

If finishing with 88-90 points is making it interesting, they'll make it interesting.

Unless Ullmark is back really soon (& he's skating, so that's possible) just don't see them performing at the clip they need to to get to 96-98 & make it really interesting.  They simply gave away too many points to really bad teams in this last stretch of a very dominatable home game schedule.  Though the record looks really good in February, they left another 5 easy (well, relatively easy) points sitting there and those will almost definitely bite them hard.

But, hey, keep Eichel going at a 105 point pace, get Linus back, have the top 2 pairings continue to show chemistry & let McCabe Jokiharju find some, have Skinner deserve & then get some puck luck,  & have Simmonds & Kahun find linemates they click with, & get the PK to look like even a top 20 unit rather than the 30th unit it is, and it's in the bag.  

There is hope, but it's only flickering.

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This is a streaky team.  If they do well on this west coast trip (let's say 6 out of a possible 8 points and close to within 2 or 3 points of 3rd place), they could ride that momentum right over the top.

A more likely scenario is 4 or 5 points, but if that keeps pace with what Toronto and Florida are doing, they could still finish the trip with a positive outlook.  But realistically if they don't gain ground out west it's going to be increasingly difficult to catch anyone late in the season.

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It's not ridiculous, but it requires some help from Toronto and Florida, ie. they need to totally collapse. The Sabres aren't going to get there on their own. 

Leafs play Tampa tonight, Panthers play Arizona. Wednesday could be interesting if those teams lose tonight.

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If our defense plays like they have been, they can over take both.

Toronto's D is a complete disaster and Florida's netminders are large strainers right now.

Our boys have a legit shot, they need to be completely focused, game by game.

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30 minutes ago, matter2003 said:

Far be it from me to predict this will happen, but both Florida and Toronto have been pretty bad lately, and the Sabres have closed to within 6 points of the Leafs for the final playoff spot with a game in hand, that could make it 4 points if they win that.  

Part of the issue people had was looking at last month in regards to their playoff chances were all the teams they would have to leapfrog for the wildcard spots, but that is a pipe dream right now as there is no way they are catching any of those teams or leapfrogging that many in the Metropolitan division.  However, with Toronto and Florida struggling and the Sabres finally surging a little bit, it has brought them to within realistic striking distance of the 3rd divisional playoff spot in the Atlantic, something nobody could have predicted when the season started, and not that hard to imagine them leapfrogging 2 teams instead of 5 or 6.  I don't think anyone thought the Sabres would have a better shot at making the playoffs by finishing 3rd in the division versus getting in as a wildcard.  

That being said, do you think the Sabres make this last month and a half of hockey interesting down to the wire or do they fade away into the abyss at some point again?

I think you answered your own question here. If they can't catch any of the wild card teams in the Metropolitan, how are they going to catch the Leafs/Panthers?

But, yes, it's pretty ridiculous.

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Probably a less than 20% chance.  Toronto has to much firepower in their line up.  They will get it together enough to make it in. 

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19 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

I think you answered your own question here. If they can't catch any of the wild card teams in the Metropolitan, how are they going to catch the Leafs/Panthers?

But, yes, it's pretty ridiculous.

Simple...they are only 4 and 6 points back of those teams not 12 points back like they are of the Metropolitan teams.  Simple math.

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41 minutes ago, Taro T said:

But, hey, keep Eichel going at a 105 point pace, get Linus back, have the top 2 pairings continue to show chemistry & let McCabe Jokiharju find some, have Skinner deserve & then get some puck luck,  & have Simmonds & Kahun find linemates they click with, & get the PK to look like even a top 20 unit rather than the 30th unit it is, and it's in the bag.  

There is hope, but it's only flickering.

For me, it really comes down to this.  I believe in the 1st and 4th lines.  If Simmonds/Kahun can wake up one of those middle two lines, they can continue on their run.  And let's face it, as long as Hutton is in net, this team is going to need some extra goals.

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Meaningful games in March was the realistic goal at the start of the season, no?

Playoffs are too ridiculous to bet money on.

But they aren’t so ridiculous that the players and the fan base cant benefit from the chase.

 

Edited by dudacek
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45 minutes ago, Scottysabres said:

If our defense plays like they have been, they can over take both.

Toronto's D is a complete disaster and Florida's netminders are large strainers right now.

Our boys have a legit shot, they need to be completely focused, game by game.

If we played only Toronto and Florida I'd say we'd be fine. But they have a lead, we have a tough schedule, and I don't know what theirs' are

45 minutes ago, darksabre said:

It's not ridiculous, but it requires some help from Toronto and Florida, ie. they need to totally collapse. The Sabres aren't going to get there on their own. 

Leafs play Tampa tonight, Panthers play Arizona. Wednesday could be interesting if those teams lose tonight.

I just want us to be realistically in the race come the SS meetup game

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Not at all. If all teams continue to trend as present, the Sabres get in. It's improbable, but it's also not a miracle if it happens.

Edited by PromoTheRobot

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Some great teams coming up. If the Sabres win 7 of the next 11, they will get really close. But they're playing teams that have run them out of the building recently.

Tomorrow is at Colorado. Colorado has outscored us 20-6 in the last four games, all losses, each game an average score of 5 to 1.5. The Flyers are up soon, and have beaten us 4 of the last 5 games, those five games averaging 4.6 goals for Philly and 2.2 for Buffalo. We play Carolina twice coming up, and they have beaten us ten times in a row, usually in close games, but we haven't beaten them since the very first season post-tank. Washington is coming up as well, and they beat us 6-1 earlier this year, 5 of the last 6 games, and 9 of the last 12 games. Boston is coming up as well, they've beaten us 5 games in a row. These teams comprise six of the next 11 games, and the others aren't easy either (road games in Winnipeg, in Arizona, in Vegas, in Montreal, and home against the Penguins). 

The thing about the Sabres, to me, is that they're remarkably consistent - they apply relatively uniform effort from night to night. It seems like almost all their variation comes from how they match up with their opponents. For every team they've lost a bunch to recently (the above and Tampa, and a few more), there's one they beat essentially every time they play them the last couple of years (Detroit, Pittsburgh, LA, San Jose, New Jersey). They are a team that is very plainly what their record says they are, IMO. 

There's a very good chance they fall on their faces in the next 11 games, because of the daunting schedule. It would be blamed on something unquantifiable, but is in line with who they are as a roster. If they don't fall on their faces, then it's not particularly ridiculous at all to think they could go on a run and nab a playoff spot. 

Edited by Randall Flagg
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Damn didn't think our schedule would be that rough, yeah we need to beat some good teams if want playoffs.

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Don't forget Montreal.  I think there are 5 or 6 games left where Florida/Montreal/Toronto play each other.  If one team tanks, it is likely the others will pick up some of those points from each other.

 

According to NHL.com...remaining strength of schedule for the rest of the year....

Sabres, 4th most difficult remaining schedule in the league.

Montreal, 15th most difficult

Toronto, 17th most difficult

Florida,  21st most difficult

 

There are also alot of sites out there which tell you how likely a team is to make the playoffs, factoring in probabilities both based on 50-50 odds in each game..and others with strength of schedule..and others using very complicated methods like Sagarin's ratings. Of the ones I follow and find have been the most accurate in the past....they have the Sabres at 1-3% chance of playoffs as of today, Montreal at 1-2%, Florida at anywhere from 40-70%, and Toronto most of them all have right near that 55-58% chance.

 

I don't think the Sabres are making it...but if they can reach/beat 88 points on the year (taking into considerations their upcoming schedule) and have a neutral or positive goal differential the rest of the year...I'll be content with the ending of the season they had.

 

Edited by mjd1001
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Too many things need to fall into place ... Perfectly. So no, no realistic chance they sneak into the playoffs.

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1 hour ago, Gatorman0519 said:

Probably a less than 20% chance.  Toronto has to much firepower in their line up.  They will get it together enough to make it in. 

I hope they fall apart and Keefe gets fired.  That would be delicious.

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56 minutes ago, Mustache of God said:

Skinner needs to get on a goal streak and the deadline acquisitions need to contribute. If those two things happen, then maybe.

If Skinner and, say, Simmonds find chemistry together they could wreak havoc on opposing teams, giving them more chaos than they can handle.

18 minutes ago, Zamboni said:

Too many things need to fall into place ... Perfectly. So no, no realistic chance they sneak into the playoffs.

If the Bills made it to the playoffs in 2017, this Sabres team can.

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Making the playoffs ain't like dusting crops, folks. Without precise calculations we could... wait, what am I say? Never tell me the odds. Punch it!

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2 hours ago, Gatorman0519 said:

Probably a less than 20% chance.  Toronto has to much firepower in their line up.  They will get it together enough to make it in. 

If they don't get it together soon that pressure is going to ratchet up pretty quickly.

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1 hour ago, matter2003 said:

Simple...they are only 4 and 6 points back of those teams not 12 points back like they are of the Metropolitan teams.  Simple math.

Making up 6 points in 20 games sounds easy, but the simple math makes it look daunting. Toronto is on a 94-point pace thus far. I did the math over in the Simmonds thread, but the Sabres need to go 7-2-1 per 10 games for the remainder of the season to pass that. That's a game better than the recent hot streak. I don't think they'll hold that pace. If it were one team, maybe, but the cosmic billiard balls need to line up just right to have two teams flame out at the same time.

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