We are just eight days from the Buffalo Sabres facing off with the New York Rangers, so what bold prediction is in store for you today?
The Buffalo Sabres power play was above average last season, with the Blue and Gold converting 63 scores out of 269 attempts, good for a 23.42% conversion percentage. By contrast, the rest of the NHL averaged 54 goals on 252 opportunities, converting just 21.31% of the time.
This year, however, the Sabres will, and I’m again getting numerological here, convert 67 scores out of 267 power play attempts, which adds up to an even 25% conversion percentage. This should be at least 3.5% above the league average, and the Sabres could even threaten the Top 5 in the category this year.
Last year, the Dallas Stars snagged fifth-place in the category, finishing with that even 25.0%, having converted 64 out of 256 opportunities. At times, it seemed like the Sabres had a Top 5 unit that could have even passed up the Stars aforementioned numbers, but they faded down the stretch.
Buffalo Sabres power play will be way more consistent in 2023-24
The Sabres power play showed more than a few flashes last season of being an elite group. But their inconsistencies dropped them to finishing just ninth in the league. Far too often, they got caught up in glamor and tried to pull off the “clean goal,” something they should be growing out of this season.
Now that they should be one year wiser, going for “dirty goals” when given the opportunity and crashing the net will let them hit the 67-goal mark, even if the numbers I outlined may give them slightly fewer chances on the man advantage.
While I won’t get so bold with the PK unit in this piece, the Buffalo Sabres power play nonetheless should be even better this season regardless if this bold prediction becomes a reality. They have all the pieces in place, plus the accompanying experience to improve.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)