Can the Buffalo Sabres shock the NHL universe and win the Atlantic Division in 2023-24? Here are five ways that it IS possible.
So while we wait for the Buffalo Sabres season to get underway, I thought I would let you the viewers determine what articles you would like to see. I went on to Twitter/X (I still call it Twitter) and said this.
I got a few responses on both Twitter and Facebook, but this reply was an interesting topic.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how the Sabres can win the Atlantic Division. Let’s face it, I don’t think winning the division is on the mind of Buffalo. Even though things are looking up for the franchise, they need to make the playoffs first. However, this was a good topic to talk about so let’s get into it!
How the Buffalo Sabres can win the Atlantic Division
1. Hang in with Toronto, Florida and Tampa Bay
You don’t need me to tell you how tough of a division the Sabres are in. In my opinion, the big three teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. So if Buffalo wants to win the division, they are going to need to hang in with these teams.
When all is said and done, I think Florida, Toronto and Tampa Bay will be the top three teams in the Atlantic once the playoffs start. If Buffalo can somehow stay with and beat them in games, then we can have a serious talk about the Sabres finishing in first.
2. The blue line must be consistent
Buffalo’s biggest issue last year was the defensive core. Whether it was defensive breakdowns or turnovers, it was a big issue all season long last year. With the additions of Connor Clifton and Erik Johnson, their blue line got better.
Last year they were the youngest team in the NHL, so bad breakdowns happen with a young team. If they are serious about not only making the playoffs but winning the division, the defensemen need to be consistently good. Breakdowns will happen but they can’t be doing them over and over again.
3. Good goaltending
Along with the defense, the goaltending has to be good as well. People like to bash Eric Comrie and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, but the truth is the goaltenders got left out to dry a lot last year because of the poor defensive play.
Barring some kind of trade, it seems like the Sabres will have a three man rotation of Comrie, UPL and Devon Levi. You’re not going to win every night but if you have solid goaltending in each game, especially in divisional games, then it’s possible the Sabres can win the Atlantic.
4. Offense remains a powerhouse
Last year, the offense was deadly for Buffalo. They were one of the best scoring offenses in the entire league, not bad for the youngest team in the NHL. I expect them to be up there again. With the division they’re in, having good scoring is going to be a key.
5. Reaching 50 wins
Last but not least, they will have to win a lot of games. If Buffalo has a chance to win the division, I think they will have to win AT LEAST 50 games. Are the Sabres capable of winning that many games? They have the offense to do it but this is combining all of my previous points.
To win at least 50 games, they will have to do everything I listed. While hanging in with the powerhouses, the defense needs to be better, good goaltending and the offense needs to remain deadly.
So there you have it, these are all of the things the Buffalo Sabres need to do if they want to win the Atlantic Division. Shoutout to Brad Vescio (@YoungGoofy17) on Twitter for suggesting this topic.