With the release of the 2009-2010 schedule, the Sabres are going to find themselves in a jam if they do not shore up in certain areas. There are however, some dates to highlight on your calender. Here is a breakdown of important events/dates to look for this year.
October 3rd, 2009 – The start of the season. It also marks the second year in a row the Sabres will start against the Montreal Canadiens, and the return of Jaroslav Spacek. Montreal is a much different looking team than they were last year, so it will be tough to gauge how these games will go.
October 13 – Detroit comes to town.
November 4th – Sabres fans might get their first look at first round draft pick Tavares.
November 13th – Calgary comes to town for a rare visit.
November 21, December 16, December 26, February 3, March 26, April 10 – Ottawa Series. It doesn’t usually matter that the Sabres are ahead or behind of Ottawa, Ottawa always has the Sabres number. It will be interesting to see how the Sabres fare against the Senators this year.
Jan 18-25 – The West Coast trip, with stops in Pheonix, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Vancouver. This trip was not kind to the Sabres last year, hopefully they can get a few more points out of this trip this year.
February 14-March 2 – The Olympic break. It might not be as hard for hockey fans in the United States to follow Olympic hockey this year, as it occurs in North America, so the time zone difference won’t be as big of a factor. What the Sabres need to be concerned about is the use of Ryan Miller. While other goaltenders are resting up across this 17 day break, Ryan Miller will undoubtedly be involved in the international tournament. With being the number one guy in Buffalo, and having an unreliant backup, this is going to add alot of undue stress onto Miller, a player who already stresses about the game enough.
After the Olympic break, the Sabres finish the season on the road, only playing at the foot of Washington Street 9 times in their last 22 games.
I expect the Sabres to get off to a fast start like they usually do, and unless something drastic changes prior to the start of training camp, we will probably see them sizzle to a dull roar and end up missing the post season in the stretch of things.