Buffalo Sabres report card following a disappointing season

A lot has changed for the Buffalo Sabres in the first two weeks following a disappointing season, so how poorly did the Blue and Gold really fare in 2023-24?
Apr 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Jordan Greenway (12) is congratulated
Apr 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Jordan Greenway (12) is congratulated / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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Verdict

Overall, the Sabres get a solid C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) for 2023-24, and you can translate this one to something along the lines of this team needing a lot of work before they take the next step. Luckily, the Sabres have one of the NHL’s most experienced coaches and a familiar face, so that will bring reassurance to fans. 

But they need to get back to where they were in what is now two seasons ago in 2022-23 as a top-five scoring team while the defense and goaltending continues to improve. If the penalty kill can remain the way it is and ideally rise to the 80 percent mark while the power play returns to where it was in 2022-23, Lindy Ruff’s first year back behind the Sabres bench will be memorable. 

Right now, however, the Sabres aren’t there, and it’s why they’re getting nothing higher than a C, which is average in the minds of many. But for this exercise, their overall season was below average. Yet there’s talent in the crease, talent in the defensive rotation, and we already know what the forwards can do. So, if Ruff is the missing piece to the puzzle, 2024-25 will be a fun season. 

(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)

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