After the most successful week of hockey at the First Niagara Center this season, the Buffalo Sabres take their three game winning streak on the road this week. With three road games on the docket – the Buffalo Sabres have a chance at playing spoiler for the rest of the season – but shouldn’t let themselves get on too much of a hot streak, holding on to the last place position is paramount to rebuilding the franchise.
With trouble seemingly at the top of the organization right on through to the on ice product – there might not be that much to worry about, but it wouldn’t put it past me for this team to screw having the highest lottery chance at the number one overall selection in the entry draft. Here is a look at this weeks opponents.
Monday March 3, 2014 – @ Dallas Stars
This will be the Buffalo Sabres first trip into Dallas with Lindy Ruff behind the helm of the Stars. Lindy Ruff’s Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo on October 28th – but the Buffalo Sabres are largely a different team now than they were then. And not necessarily in a good way. Dallas currently sits in fifth place in their division, but have a slim hold on the second Western Conference wild card spot. They are tied with the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets, but also have games in hand.
It is not thought that the Stars will make a splash this week at the deadline, and will likely try to make the playoffs as is – and then retool the Lindy Ruff vision over the summer to make a better stab at it next season.
Thursday March 6, 2014 @ Tampa Bay Lightning
The Sabres get a few days off before heading into Florida for a swing through the Sunshine State with the first stop being the Lightning. While they are holding their own in the newly aligned Eastern Conference – it might not be all sunshine for the Lightning. With rumors swirling that their second captain in two years as asked for a trade make things seem like the ship isn’t being steered all that well in Tampa.
Why does eveyone want to play for the New York Rangers – it’s not like they have been close to winning the Stanley Cup since the mid 1990s.
Friday March 7, 2014 @ Florida Panthers
In a game that largely no one in the National Hockey League will be watching except draft enthusiasts – the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference battle it out. The best scenario here for the Buffalo Sabres is a Florida victory. With both teams having played a similar number of games, the Panthers have 7 more points than the Sabres. The more distance the Sabres put between them and the rest of the Eastern Conference the better.
Florida enjoyed limited success in 2011-2012 after spending big in one off season to overhaul their team – it seems as if more work is to be done in Sunrise for the playoffs to be a regular occurence for the Panthers.