What would be considered a successful season for the Sabres?

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 26: Dylan Cozens #24 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers during the first period at KeyBank Center on January 26 , 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 26: Dylan Cozens #24 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers during the first period at KeyBank Center on January 26 , 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /
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The simple answer would be “not last”. But there are more things to watch for and get excited about during a rebuilding season other than just standings. As the Buffalo Sabres remain in this seemingly endless rebuild, fans should look to things other than just the standings to judge if next season is successful or not.

Obviously, it would be great to see the Sabres not finish at the bottom of the league again next year (although the best odds at winning the lottery are always nice if you are rebuilding). But going into this year, the Sabres are not giving anyone any reason to believe that they will not continue to be a mainstay at the bottom of the points.

But there are other things to look for when it comes to judging success in Buffalo. For starters, if Don Granato can put a competitive team on the ice each day and build a roster that makes sense, we would already be ahead of last season. The bar was set extremely low when Ralph Krueger was the acting head coach last season, so even having a semi-competent coach would be a success in the eyes of Sabres fans at the moment.

Also seeing continued development and success from some of the younger players we saw gaining momentum at the end of last season would be a very promising sign. We saw players such as Casey Mittelstadt and Rasmus Dahlin flourished after Granato took over. If they could continue that quality play into this season, that would be a great sign. Seeing continued development for young players such as Dylan Cozens would be an added success in Buffalo.

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So if Sabres fans want to find success in this upcoming season, they may have to look more at specific individual success more so than team success, as the team expectations are not so high right now.