Its a question that most thought we wouldn’t have to ask this season, but with only a few games remaining it is becoming more and more realistic. Can the Sabres actually win the Northeast Division after at one point this season being the worst team in the Eastern Conference? Today we look at the remaining schedules for the contending teams in the Northeast.
The Bruins remain at the top of the division with 89 points, only 3 points ahead of Ottawa and 5 points ahead of Buffalo. That being said Boston does have two games in hand on both teams. The Bruins have eight games left this season, a good portion being against very average teams. The Bruins have four games left this month, all against teams that are currently not in the top eight in their conference. They face the Ducks (12th in the West), Lightning (11th in the East), Capitals (9th in the East), and Islanders (14th in the East). Although the Bruins have had a rough month, most would say they’d have to try really hard to lose enough of those games to make room for Ottawa or Buffalo. In April the B’s have critical matchups against both the Senators and Sabres, as well as games against the Rangers and Penguins.
Ottawa has played the same amount of games as Buffalo, and sits two points ahead of them. They not only are hoping to catch Boston, but also keep Buffalo off their tails. The Senators have six games remaining on their schedule. Their remaining schedule isn’t too challenging either, as they play the Islanders, Hurricanes, and Jets. However they do have to go up against the Flyers, Bruins, and Devils, who all sit ahead of them in the standings. For them to catch Boston they will need to go more than .500 in the remaining games as well as beat them head to head.
And finally there’s Buffalo, currently sitting in 8th place with 84 points. The Sabres also have six games remaining, against some of the same teams. Their next game is a crucial match-up, not for the division but 8th place, against the Washington Capitals. From there they play Pittsburgh, Toronto twice, Philadelphia, and the Bruins. Its very reasonable to think Buffalo has a shot at the division, especially with those two games against Toronto and a head-to-head with the Bruins. How important that would be is questionable however, because you may end up playing Boston instead of the Rangers, which doesn’t look all that much better from a Sabres perspective.
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