The Buffalo Sabres scored 296 goals last season, but they still finished with a -4 goal differential. However, they were also in the green several times.
The Buffalo Sabres goal differential continually sailed north and south of zero in 2022-23, but this season, they will end up well north of the number. As for the final tally, that’s for another bold prediction down the road because today, we’re focusing on just one number: 32.
And while the Blue and Gold can realistically end the year with a +32 goal differential, we’re getting bold and projecting the Sabres to snag the +32 mark after the 32nd game. Buffalo is in a good position to get there, as there are more than a few rebuilders and those they are one rung higher than on the schedule including teams like the:
- Arizona Coyotes (twice)
- Montreal Canadiens (twice)
- Detroit Red Wings
- St. Louis Blues
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Philadelphia Flyers (twice)
This isn’t to say the Blue and Gold are winning all of the above games – everyone has a bad outing or two across a 32-game stretch. But these six teams will put the Sabres in a prime position to get close to the +32 differential.
Buffalo Sabres outscore opponents by 32 goals in season’s first 32 games
There are other teams on the schedule the Sabres can also handle, as they showed us last season when they beat 30 of the league’s other 31 teams. This may be a bold prediction, but it also leaves me with little doubt they can at least creep close to this number.
Buffalo had one of the best groups of top-six scorers last season, and they will only get better in 2023-24. They will also, and it’s something I’ve said several times in previous pieces, boast better defense and better goaltending, or at least that’s the case on paper.
Overall, your Buffalo Sabres will be a fun team to watch this upcoming season, and their sheer scoring ability is one reason why. But now that they’re a more complete team, today’s prediction may not be as bold as some others.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)