If you want to be optimistic about the Buffalo Sabres, the next two weeks could very well change their season around. It was a good start on Monday afternoon as the Sabres beat the San Jose Sharks 3-0. As of this moment, Buffalo is 19-21-4 with 42 points. When it comes to the wild card, they are only seven points back.
In the next two weeks, they could very well give themselves a chance if they take care of business and it starts tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks. As expected, Chicago is going through a rebuild. They are 13-29-2 with 28 points on the season and will be without Connor Bedard tonight.
As we all know, there is no easy win in the NHL. But there is no reason why the Sabres can't beat Chicago, despite the weird season they're having. After the Blackhawks, Buffalo will welcome in the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning are where we all had them to begin the season, near the top of the Atlantic Division.
Buffalo did beat Tampa Bay already but the Bolts did not have Andrei Vasilevsky in that loss to Buffalo so we'll see if he starts in this game. To wrap up the month of January, the Sabres will be in California. Their first game is against the Anaheim Ducks. Just like the Blackhawks, Anaheim is another team rebuilding, but they play hard.
This is just another game the Sabres SHOULD be able to win but you never know with this team. The following night, Buffalo will be in Los Angeles to take on the Kings. LA is having a good season and the Sabres will have their work cut out for them, especially on a back to back being on the West coast.
And finally, the Sabres will see the Sharks again but this time in San Jose to wrap up the season series
Again, you just can't lose this game if you're Buffalo. San Jose is the worst team in the league, there is no excuse to lose to them. If you want to get yourself back in the race, you have to win that game.
When all is said and done, the Sabres should AT LEAST win three of these games that I talked about. They already beat the Sharks the other day, but you also cannot lose to Chicago or Anaheim. We'll see what team shows up the next two weeks but these five games could very well help or set them back.