4. Buffalo Sabres
I expect big things from the Buffalo Sabres this season. After having one of their best seasons last year in forever, it’s very possible they can break the playoff drought. It won’t be the divisional route where you have to be in the top three but they can very well get one of the two wild card spots.
After bringing back a couple of their leaders, the Sabres improved their blue line with the additions of Clifton and Erik Johnson. They didn’t do anything else major but I think they have a good and young team. The offense was absolutely epic last year and even with a bad blue line, they were only a win away from the postseason.
The biggest question is the goaltending and defense. With what could be a three man rotation, it will be interesting to see how the blue line does.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs
As we enter the top three, I think the point differential will be small when it comes to where these next three teams finish. But I have the Toronto Maple Leafs in third place. The Maple Leafs will be the Maple Leafs. A good team that will be in the postseason.
For the first time since 2004, they finally won a playoff round last season. They will still be a good team but looking at their offseason, Tyler Bertuzzi was really the biggest addition. They got Max Domi, Ryan Reaves and Martin Jones. Like I said, they have a good team already but nothing they did in the offseason makes me think they will be in first.