Daily Poll: How Close are the Buffalo Sabres to Being Playoff Material?

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Sabres fans, are you starved for playoff hockey, or what?

Don’t try to play the, “We don’t know what you’re talking about” game with me.  I saw this article that you were trying to keep from me: “Buffalo Finishes Fourth in U.S. in TV Ratings for Game One of Stanley Cup.”  

Yeah, you thought I’d never find that, but I did.  It’s my job to dig up dirty little secrets like that, dear readers, so in the future, don’t even bother.

Reading that article, I have to say I was more than a little bit surprised to discover that, not only was Buffalo the city with the fourth highest ratings, it was actually ranked number one among cities that did not have any tangible connection to the teams playing in the Stanley Cup Finals.

That’s impressive.  There are an awful lot of cities out there, in case you had not noticed, many of which have much larger populations.  The fact that so many people in Buffalo are tuning into watch a Stanley Cup Finals they have no true vested interest in speaks volumes about Sabres fans: we love hockey, whether the Sabres are playing or not.

Let’s face it, though: we all wish we had been able to watch the Sabres play some playoff hockey this year, and as good as the ratings have been for this Stanley Cup, they’ll go through the roof if the Sabres can ever make it back.

First, however, the Sabres have to make it into the playoffs, which is the topic of today’s daily poll: how close would you say the Buffalo Sabres are to getting back into the playoffs?

Some may argue that this team, which at various times this season found itself only 2 points out of a playoff spot, just needs a little tweaking and will be back in the mix next season.

Others (and I would be in this camp) feel that the Sabres are a young team with lots of potential, but since some of their talent is still developing, it will be another 2-3 years until this team starts to hit its stride.

The more pessimistic fans may find it take even longer for this team to make it back to the playoffs, arguing that a total rebuild will take 4-5 years at least to mold the Sabres into a playoff-caliber team, especially if (many would say when) the team loses the talents of Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek.

Time to weigh in, Sabrenation – when do you think the Sabres will be back in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs?

How close, in terms of years, are the Sabres to being playoff-ready?

View Results

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Topics: Buffalo Sabres

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  • Matt Nolan

    It’s probably because of Patrick Kane that so many people watch

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I’m sure that’s part of it, but Jimmy Howard came out of Syracuse, and Syracuse doesn’t pay much attention to the Detroit Red Wings.

      • Matt Nolan

        He didn’t go number 1 and Detroit isn’t in the final

  • wolfdoctor

    When will the Sabres be playoff ready?

    It depends on Regier. If he is intent on trading most of our prospects and picks to grab #1, then 5 years. If he just holds on to #8 and #16 then 1-3 years.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I can’t imagine even Regier is dumb enough to not see how terrible that math is. Losing 4-5 to gain 1 is unthinkable.

      • wolfdoctor

        Yes, unthinkable, however this is often being discussed.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          I like to think it is a PR stunt – make the fans THINK you’re being bold, when really you are playing it safe, as usual.

          • Matt Nolan

            And if this is all smoke lets suck for two years and get Connor McDavid 16 year old tearing it up looks like next Wayne Gretzky

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            Gee, Matt, I would prefer they not suck for two more years! :) We’ve seen enough of the sucking end of things, right?

          • Matt Nolan

            Who’s to say they won’t anyway wouldn’t u rather rebuild right like pit or Chicago or Boston these teams all rebuilt the right way drafter or obtain Marquess talent and bring in replaceable Chicago shows us how to recycle the secondary players at the rate were going we may suck for more than two years

          • wolfdoctor

            How do you know that Grigorenko and Girgensens won’t be marquis talent? Trading away prospects like these and Armia, McCabe, Pysyk will probably do more harm than good.

          • Matt Nolan

            But if the return is a player who can produce as much as multiple players then it won’t be stupid it’s a double edged sword man I don’t think it’s stupid either way realistically vanek and miller are on their way out I would gladly part with one star one pick at 8 and two decent prospects if it meant we could have someone like Crosby because I hate Sidney but he’s so nasty I’d like to hold onto some of our good prospects but the bruins traded away joe Thornton and found their way to where they are the Blackhawks lost countless guys byufglin niemi etc the name of the game is find your marquee stars and build around them right now we have to stars who will leave this year so would I trade five prospects for one no nobody would I think we can easily manage breaking the top 4 without breaking the bank… Would I trade my top 5 prospects for one no don’t be stupid

          • wolfdoctor

            That was the whole discussion – trading 4-5 prospects for one. Read above ! It sure looks like you were on the side of trading 4-5 for one.

            And most everybody says MacKinnon is not in the same league as Crosby.

    • Matt Nolan

      Personally I think the sabres problems come from lack o f a huge talent and leader if u look at what rolston did after lindy it’s an indicator that the sabres aren’t too far away hopefully they can move some pieces to score Mackinnon or barkov they have tons of stuff to deal Darcy can earn back my trust by making it happen by all indicators Mackinnon would be our best player outside Perrault Hasek mogilny lafontaine who are all time greats

      • wolfdoctor

        “I think the sabres problems come from lack of a huge talent”

        If the Sabres trade a number of their top prospects to move up to draft MacKinnon aren’t they removing a lot of talent they otherwise would have had? That is trading Armia, Grigorenko, Pysyk and our #8 and #16 for MacKinnon seems to defeat the purpose of rebuilding.

        • Matt Nolan

          It depends man on what we get back and I wouldn’t do that trade 5 prospects for one… but if mack is better than those guys would it be worth it its not like we have huge issuesw depth in general we hhav many average players and outside of grigo I’d say those players u mentioned are replaceable so would u trade 4 replaceable for one non replaceable?and FYI I think we need to hit number 2 in the draft and I think we can find some extra prices on our roster to send them I wish we had tanked the season when we were at the ass end of the league but what can u do still think we should do it

          • wolfdoctor

            How do you know these prospects are replaceable? 5 first round picks for someone who may not be any better than Doug Wickenheiser. Brilliant. I really hope Regier is smarter than that.

          • Matt Nolan

            But what if they all bust? Which percentage wise is more likely

          • wolfdoctor

            Your comment makes no sense.

          • Matt Nolan

            Lol no man I’m saying there is a better chance that the later picks bust in general whoever goes 1 or two is a stud except a few all my point is is if you wanna rebuild right u need a top player so if we’re not drafting one how do we get him? Or them? And u never had said this was specifically about your top four prospects for him would I trade some of our top guys yes but not the top four like ussaid look at Chicago man they keep their stars and bring in your Larsen’s and girginsons and pysyks through good drafting and with this young of a team I would t mind opening up some roles for these guys to fill

  • davidmuscalo

    With the current upper management team (Black and Regier), four or five years, in my opinion is optimistic. Mediocrity is what they strive for and that is what they have brought to Buffalo. The fact that they are even considering trading Miller and Vanek says volumes for their lack of commitment to excellence.

    The fact that they didn’t make the playoffs for the past three seasons means little, because, had they done so, they would have lost embarrassingly in the first round anyway.

    Making the playoffs doesn’t matter if you don’t will the Stanley Cup, because that is what it is all about. The Sabres’ teams that have taken the ice for the past five seasons are not even close to the competitive level of the teams we see in the playoffs, but that is going to change if you listen to management, they are going build a Juggernaut from the draft. I hope not ala Edmonton.

    If the Sabres are even going to win the Cup, we need a drastic change in upper management. I admit, though, that is not likely to happen in the near future. Perhaps in a year or two.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I don’t have a problem with trading Vanek and/or Miller, since neither one of them want to be here and are just going to walk after next season, However, I do agree that the current climate seems to be one of accepting mediocre results, which is not acceptable. The Sabres failed to do much to address their weaknesses last season, and I took them to task for that, as did most fans!

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