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Are the Sabres out of the running for the playoffs?


inkman
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Are the Sabres out of the playoff race?  

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  1. 1. Are the Sabres out of the playoff race

    • Yes
      29
    • No
      77


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22 hours ago, inkman said:

Paul Hamilton has repeatedly mentioned this week on WGR that the Sabres are out of the playoff race due to the losing streak?  Is it even true?  Do they have no realistic chance to make up the ground?  Didn’t the Blues win the cup after being in last place in December?  

I think it’s too early for anyone to be mathematically eliminated. The losing streak didn’t help but they have 2/3 of the season to make up for it. IMO they still have a chance because of the offensive production but really need to tighten up defensively.

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They are 2 games under Deluca .500 and about to play home-and-home vs Pittsburgh, which has won 3 in a row and are 8-1-1 in their last 10.  Pittsburgh is 9th in the NHL in goals for but middling in goals against.

If the Sabres can sweep a good, experienced, well-balanced, mentally tough team led by an all-time great who is still one of the best players in the NHL and get to Deluca .500 -- it will officially be ON.

OTOH, if they lose both, they'll be back to 4 games under and the playoffs will get a bit harder to imagine.

UPL -- here is opportunity.

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Last year, folks were pleasantly surprised by Tage's development and debated whether he was a 2 or 3C. Today, no one with a brain would trade him straight up for Eichel. I'll add that last year, or maybe even earlier this year, folks liked Cozens, but didn't think he would consistently score. Now the kids' line is a legit second line and bring a dangerous energy every time they step on the ice. We're a couple of solid veteran D and consistent goaltending away from a genuinely scary team.                                                                                                         

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41 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Put another way and perhaps making it sound more achievable, are the Sabres a 103 point team the rest of the way (if adjusted for a full season) rather than the 78 point team they've been so far?

If Samuelsson stays healthy the rest of the way, they actually might be. They are 9-3-1 in the games he has played this year and 3-10 without him.  In the games with him, they play at a 119 point pace.

Edited by matter2003
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8 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Put another way and perhaps making it sound more achievable, are the Sabres a 103 point team the rest of the way (if adjusted for a full season) rather than the 78 point team they've been so far?

They could be, won't rule it out.  A good test will be the rest of the month.  They are mostly healthy now. a 103 point team when they are healthy should be able to put some stretches together where they beat very good teams. Can they get at least 13-14 points by the end of December, maybe a couple more?  That will give us a good idea.

They have a good balanced schedule coming up...tough games at (a hurting) Colorado, Vegas, and Boston, home to Tampa.  Then some 'easier' games with Columbus and Arizona, and some 'decent' games against Pitt (twice) the Kings, and Detroit.  It would be hard to get a 10 game stretch that is so balanced.

If they can get 13 or 14 out of the next 20 points by the end of December, that puts them at 38 or 39 points in 36 games, probably putting them within 4 or 5 of the last wild card slot...then 'game on' for the rest of the year.

Edited by mjd1001
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6 minutes ago, mjd1001 said:

They could be, won't rule it out.  A good test will be the rest of the month.  They are mostly healthy now. a 103 point team when they are healthy should be able to put some stretches together where they beat very good teams. Can they get at least 13-14 points by the end of December, maybe a couple more?  That will give us a good idea.

They have a good balanced schedule coming up...tough games at (a hurting) Colorado, Vegas, and Boston, home to Tampa.  Then some 'easier' games with Columbus and Arizona, and some 'decent' games against Pitt (twice) the Kings, and Detroit.  It would be hard to get a 10 game stretch that is so balanced.

If they can get 13 or 14 out of the next 20 points by the end of December, that puts them at 38 or 39 points in 36 games, probably putting them within 4 or 5 of the last wild card slot...then 'game on' for the rest of the year.

The 4-1 loss to Arizona earlier in the year when literally every goal they scored was a random deflection off a Sabre player(Cozens I think had more than 1) didn't seem too easy for them.

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4 minutes ago, matter2003 said:

The 4-1 loss to Arizona earlier in the year when literally every goal they scored was a random deflection off a Sabre player(Cozens I think had more than 1) didn't seem too easy for them.

You could say a 6-2 win over a streaking St. Louis team at the time was easier than it should be.  Anyone can nit-pick any games, the whole point I was making was about their schedule in general.  Every team beats great teams and loses to bad teams.  Arizone is currently the 4th or 5th worst team in the league in terms of points, they are a -26 in terms of goal differential (Buffalo is a plus 9), and If I remember that game featured a Sabres team that was a lot less healthy than they are now (Clague and Pilut were at 15 minutes or more if ice time, lybushkin played but he was hurt, No Jokiharju and no Samuelsson).

If we have to classify the upcoming Arizona game, I would put it for sure closer to the 'easier' category rather than the 'harder' one.

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11 minutes ago, mjd1001 said:

You could say a 6-2 win over a streaking St. Louis team at the time was easier than it should be.  Anyone can nit-pick any games, the whole point I was making was about their schedule in general.  Every team beats great teams and loses to bad teams.  Arizone is currently the 4th or 5th worst team in the league in terms of points, they are a -26 in terms of goal differential (Buffalo is a plus 9), and If I remember that game featured a Sabres team that was a lot less healthy than they are now (Clague and Pilut were at 15 minutes or more if ice time, lybushkin played but he was hurt, No Jokiharju and no Samuelsson).

If we have to classify the upcoming Arizona game, I would put it for sure closer to the 'easier' category rather than the 'harder' one.

For sure...it just seems that sometimes this team tends to play down to their competition level.  Hopefully with Samuelsson back in the lineup they keep things rolling.  He is definitely a major key for them.  The difference in their record with and without him in the lineup over the past season and a half is astonishing.

Sabres are 9-3-1 with him this year and 3-10 without him.

Edited by matter2003
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6 minutes ago, matter2003 said:

For sure...it just seems that sometimes this team tends to play down to their competition level.  Hopefully with Samuelsson back in the lineup they keep things rolling.  He is definitely a major key for them.  The difference in their record with and without him in the lineup over the past season and a half is astonishing.

Sabres are 9-3-1 with him this year and 3-10 without him.

On a somewhat related note, I do like how Granato is honest about stuff like this. After having a bunch of injuries, most coaches need to be asked about them, and they do the usual 'coach talk' by saying things like "they aren't an excuse" or "everyone gets them" or "next man up"   But I heard a Granato interview the other day and he was asked what is the key to the team playing better and he came right out and said the D-unit being healthy.

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13 minutes ago, mjd1001 said:

On a somewhat related note, I do like how Granato is honest about stuff like this. After having a bunch of injuries, most coaches need to be asked about them, and they do the usual 'coach talk' by saying things like "they aren't an excuse" or "everyone gets them" or "next man up"   But I heard a Granato interview the other day and he was asked what is the key to the team playing better and he came right out and said the D-unit being healthy.

Both him and Adams admitted that with a young team like this, they don't have the depth to sustain multiple injuries over long periods of time like some other teams could.  Said "we just aren't there yet" to be able to do it...thought that was pretty awesome they didn't hide from it and admitted what most of us could have figured out by watching them play.

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15 hours ago, PromoTheRobot said:

They have to play at a .700 pace the rest of the way to reach 98 points. They were playing at .638 before the losing streak. The 8-game slide really put them in a hole.

Right now it's .652, so close. Still a lot to ask.

11 hours ago, Porous Five Hole said:

LOL you’re right. The Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA must have got me shook up.   My bad. 
 

I think the projection of numbers I laid out above will ring true. The Sabres aren’t going to play .700 hockey from here on out to get to 98 points. I just don’t see it. 
 

The only potential dramatic change to the Sabres season would be a goaltending upgrade, and I just cannot see them acting on that today…because who would be available? Goalie upgrades aren’t typically done mid season. And a deadline deal for a goalie like MA Fleury (the big fish from last year) don’t seem like Buffalo would be a logical destination. And even if they could pull off something major for a legitimate goalie, that would require waivers for either Anderson of Comrie. I just don’t see it.

I apologize in advance if there are typos to the above. I’m logging off now lol 🍻

Doing the math, they need to play at a 107-point season pace to get to 98 points. That seems like a big hill to overcome. Even dropping to a more historically normal 94 points, that's still a 101-point season pace. That's 0.616, so not impossible based on before the losing streak. Suffice it to say, the Sabres losing streak ate up all the losses that bubble teams have and still qualify for the playoffs. They now have to be a good to very good team for the rest of the season to realistically have a shot.

I don't think Anderson/Comrie/UPL get it done, unfortunately. I think Anderson is the only one that has shown that level so far but there's no way he can play the rest of the season and not break down again.

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6 minutes ago, MattPie said:

Right now it's .652, so close. Still a lot to ask.

Doing the math, they need to play at a 107-point season pace to get to 98 points. That seems like a big hill to overcome. Even dropping to a more historically normal 94 points, that's still a 101-point season pace. That's 0.616, so not impossible based on before the losing streak. Suffice it to say, the Sabres losing streak ate up all the losses that bubble teams have and still qualify for the playoffs. They now have to be a good to very good team for the rest of the season to realistically have a shot.

I don't think Anderson/Comrie/UPL get it done, unfortunately. I think Anderson is the only one that has shown that level so far but there's no way he can play the rest of the season and not break down again.

Sabres have played at a 119.8 point pace with Samuelsson in the lineup(9-3-1)

Edited by matter2003
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58 minutes ago, Dr. Who said:

Last year, folks were pleasantly surprised by Tage's development and debated whether he was a 2 or 3C. Today, no one with a brain would trade him straight up for Eichel. I'll add that last year, or maybe even earlier this year, folks liked Cozens, but didn't think he would consistently score. Now the kids' line is a legit second line and bring a dangerous energy every time they step on the ice. We're a couple of solid veteran D and consistent goaltending away from a genuinely scary team.                                                                                                         

 

I was just having a conversation in a group text today. 

My dad has basically broken up with the Sabres and spends his days hoping that Jack Eichel will someday hold his hand. He talks about Kevyn Adams like he has been in charge for 12 years and what a dumbed down roster it was and listed Risto, O'Reily, Nylander as examples of things Adams got wrong.  Like dude, none of those guys have anything to do with Adams. We are the highest scoring team in the league. We have a top tier power play. The team is young, and exciting. We are one more d-line and a goaltender from being a team nobody wants anything to do with.

 

I told him I would gladly take all his Sabres gear on trade and I would buy him an Eichel/Vegas jersey in return. 

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6 minutes ago, MattPie said:

Right now it's .652, so close. Still a lot to ask.

Doing the math, they need to play at a 107-point season pace to get to 98 points. That seems like a big hill to overcome. Even dropping to a more historically normal 94 points, that's still a 101-point season pace. That's 0.616, so not impossible based on before the losing streak. Suffice it to say, the Sabres losing streak ate up all the losses that bubble teams have and still qualify for the playoffs. They now have to be a good to very good team for the rest of the season to realistically have a shot.

I don't think Anderson/Comrie/UPL get it done, unfortunately. I think Anderson is the only one that has shown that level so far but there's no way he can play the rest of the season and not break down again.

I like to think you are never 'out of it' until you can't 'get back in it.  Seriously, it is slightly annoying when an NFL team is down something like 27-13 in the 3rd quarter...then they score a TD and the announcers always say "they are back in it!"  Again, you aren't out of it until you can't even get close to being 'back in it'.  With the Sabres, I really think it is a matter of small steps.  I mentioned earlier, there are 10 games left in December.  Get 13-14 points in the next 10.  Is that acheivable? Sure is. At that point you probably find yourself only 3-5 points (give or take a point) out of the last wildcard with more than half the season left. Not only not out of it, but at that point 'right in the thick' of it.

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3 minutes ago, Mango said:

My dad has basically broken up with the Sabres and spends his days hoping that Jack Eichel will someday hold his hand. He talks about Kevyn Adams like he has been in charge for 12 years and what a dumbed down roster it was and listed Risto, O'Reily, Nylander as examples of things Adams got wrong.  Like dude, none of those guys have anything to do with Adams. We are the highest scoring team in the league. We have a top tier power play. The team is young, and exciting. We are one more d-line and a goaltender from being a team nobody wants anything to do with.

I don't want to start an unrelated war with the comments I'm about to make but here goes:  I know a few people that I talk to about the Sabres that say similar things. Root for Eichel (almost more than the Sabres), think the Risto trade was bad...The team got fleeced in the ROR/Tage trade no matter what happens going forward, the team will never win because they are soft...need players like Ramsey, Shoenfeld, Korab (because they were REAL players) etc, etc.   All of them have a couple things in common....they are all over 55 years old, they all will die on the hill that in EVERY sport Defense wins championships all the time, and if anyone scores more than 1 goal in a game against you or throws more than 2 td passes against you the only solution is to hit them hard over and over and over to 'teach them a lesson'.

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9 minutes ago, mjd1001 said:

I like to think you are never 'out of it' until you can't 'get back in it.  Seriously, it is slightly annoying when an NFL team is down something like 27-13 in the 3rd quarter...then they score a TD and the announcers always say "they are back in it!"  Again, you aren't out of it until you can't even get close to being 'back in it'.  With the Sabres, I really think it is a matter of small steps.  I mentioned earlier, there are 10 games left in December.  Get 13-14 points in the next 10.  Is that acheivable? Sure is. At that point you probably find yourself only 3-5 points (give or take a point) out of the last wildcard with more than half the season left. Not only not out of it, but at that point 'right in the thick' of it.

I get what you're saying, they're not out of it. "Get 13-14 points in the next 10", is a good start, because they're going to have to get 13-14 out of the next 10 for the rest of the season. No slips, no "well, they ran into a bunch of good teams and went 4-5-1"; for the rest of the season it's crunch time. I don't think any team can play that way for 6 months with out a drop-off.

Edited by MattPie
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2 hours ago, matter2003 said:

Moneypuck likes our chances(71.9%), and the highest probability they have for us is to finish 3rd in the division. Expected to finish with 98 points according to their models, which would put us behind Boston at 116 and Toronto at 102.

image.thumb.png.6cc29ff12e8916033ddb67f0432fa25e.png

They must have some primo hopium there.

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I’ve always said by January 1 you know what team you are or have.  We’re almost there.  It’s currently the highest scoring team in the NHL.

This team when healthy is a 100 point team.  

I don’t know if they can make the playoffs but I wouldn’t bet against this group.  

And as a fan I couldn’t be happier this is where we are.   A quarter of the roster can barely purchase alcohol.  

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4 minutes ago, MattPie said:

I get what you're saying, they're not out of it. "Get 13-14 points in the next 10", is a good start, because they're going to have to get 13-14 out of the next 10 for the rest of the season. No slips, no "well, they ran into a bunch of good teams and went 4-5-1"; for the rest of the season it's crunch time. I don't think any team can play that way for 6 months with out a drop-off.

Well with the extra point for OT losses, it is more possible than it used to be.  107 point pace was referenced a few times above.  10 teams (1/3 of the league) had over 107 point for the entire seasnon last year.  If 1/3 of the league can do it for the entire year, a good team should be able to do that for less than a season. 8 teams had 110 points over the entire year.

So I decided to look a bit more into it...lets look at 110 points:

-8 teams did that over the entire year, of the team that did not make 110 points..

-St. Louis played at a 110 point pace over the first half of theseason.

-Boston played at a 113 point pace from Jan 1 through the end of the year (more than half the season)

-Edmonton played at a 114 point pace the 2nd half of the season

-Pittsburgh played at a 114 point pace the 1st half of the season

-Los Angeles almost made it (108 points) in the 2nd half of the season

I didn't bother to look into any other teams, but if you really looked into the stats, it looks like half the league either got 110 points in an entire season, or had periods of half the season (or more than half the season) where they were on a 110 point pace.  So not only does it happen it is acutually pretty common.

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1 hour ago, matter2003 said:

Both him and Adams admitted that with a young team like this, they don't have the depth to sustain multiple injuries over long periods of time like some other teams could.  Said "we just aren't there yet" to be able to do it...thought that was pretty awesome they didn't hide from it and admitted what most of us could have figured out by watching them play.

Maybe that is why we are more realistic about the team: our coach and the media around the team have been frank about our weaknesses.

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