Burning Question: Will the Buffalo Sabres follow their cousins in Orchard Park?

The Buffalo Sabres are well behind the eight-ball in the early stages of 2024, but their cousins in Orchard Park were once in the same position.

Jan 6, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Buffalo Sabres center Peyton Krebs (19) prepares to
Jan 6, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Peyton Krebs (19) prepares to / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The Buffalo Sabres can once again draw inspiration from their cousins in Orchard Park, the Buffalo Bills. Last night, the Bills capped off an incredible late-season run to attain the second seed in the 2024 NFL Playoffs after they seemingly burned out two-thirds of the way through the 2023 season. 

To recap, this was a team that lost in Week 1 to the New York Jets, who was forced to roll with Zach Wilson after Aaron Rodgers went down with an Achilles injury. They also lost to teams they should have beaten, like the New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, and Denver Broncos. 

Following a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, few fans and experts thought highly of the 6-6 Bills, only for the team to embark on an epic five-game winning streak starting in Week 14 against the Kansas City Chiefs. The 5-0 run led them to the second seed, and they should have proven to the Sabres that yes, it can be done, even when all hope looks lost.

Buffalo Sabres can find inspiration in their cousins, the Bills

Let’s review the 2023-24 Sabres season to this point, because so far, it hasn’t generated sound results. The Blue and Gold are currently 17-19-4, and they remain the third-worst team in the Eastern Conference points-wise and six points from a wild card, even if they recently embarked on a small winning streak.

Following Week 14, they also have quite a manageable schedule, with teams like the San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, and the Tampa Bay Lightning coming to town. Yes, even the Lightning, given how well Buffalo has played them over the past calendar year. Then they close out the month against the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings, before they play the Sharks one more time, meaning there is room for a resurgence in January. 

The season looked over and let’s be honest, it still doesn’t look pretty for the Buffalo Sabres. Yet as the Bills proved, things can look hopeless even two-thirds of the way through the regular season, but it doesn’t mean the postseason is out of the question. Buffalo must turn things around fast and beat opponents they should beat. And if they can, a postseason berth is still on the table.

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(Information provided by Hockey-Reference and Pro-Football-Reference)