Looking ahead to Week 19 of the Buffalo Sabres 2023-2024 season

Jan 4, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson (72) celebrates after
Jan 4, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson (72) celebrates after / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Week 18 was a good one for the Buffalo Sabres as the team went 2-1-0. After a dominant blowout win over the Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo got shut out by the Florida Panthers. To wrap up the week, the Sabres rebounded with an overtime win against the Minnesota Wild. For all things considered, two out of three wins is pretty good.

Transitioning into Week 19, three of the four games will be against teams with not good records. While Buffalo's record isn't the best, this could be a "get yourself back in the race" kind of week for the club. I know it might seem like an uphill climb and it is, but the Sabres can get themselves back in the playoff conversation if they can take care of business this week.

To start the week, Buffalo will host the Anaheim Ducks for a Presidents Day matinee tomorrow. It will be the second and final meeting between the two teams this year. The Sabres will look to avoid getting swept by the Ducks after Anaheim beat Buffalo back in late January. As expected, Anaheim is having another tough season with a record of 19-33-2 and 40 points. If you're Buffalo, you can't lose this game. The Ducks play hard, but if the Sabres want to get themselves back in the playoff race, you need to win this game.

Buffalo will be on the road for the next two games. Up first, they will be in Montreal for a matchup against the Canadiens. The Habs are tied with the Sabres in points (52) but are below Buffalo in the standings with a record of 22-25-8. Again, this is a game Buffalo can win and when they're in Montreal, the Sabres seem to have more success compared to winning at home. Jeff Skinner seems to have the Canadiens number, so hopefully, he can keep it up on Wednesday night.

The Sabres will head to Columbus for a meeting with the Blue Jackets on Friday night. At the moment, the Jackets are 17-26-10 with 44 points. Their record will change because they will be in California for two games this week before coming home to host Buffalo. Once again, if the Sabres are serious about getting back in the playoff race, they have to win this game.

Wrapping up Week 19, Buffalo will have their hands full as they will be hosting the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon. Carolina is second in the Metropolitan Division with a 32-17-5 record and 69 points. It will change because the Hurricanes have three games in-between today and next Sunday in Buffalo. They will present a huge challenge for the Sabres, which makes the previous three games must win.

It's also crucial for Buffalo to have a good week because next week, they will be facing teams who are in a playoff spot. For my prediction, it will be a good week for the Sabres. I think they will win their first three games but lose to Carolina.