3 reasons fans can be optimistic about the Sabres despite falling short of the playoffs

The Buffalo Sabres concluded their 2023-24 season against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and it was a disappointing six months for a team with playoff aspirations.
Apr 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Buffalo Sabres left wing Zach Benson (9) celebrates after he
Apr 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Zach Benson (9) celebrates after he / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4

The Blue and Gold won’t be getting any younger

This rebuild has been a long one, and this season, it’s grown tedious, with the Sabres once again factoring near the bottom of the NHL in age. While the Blue and Gold may have had experience from a chemistry standpoint, injuries delayed that chemistry from properly developing this season, leading to age and inexperience playing a major factor in this team’s difficulties. 

Early on, injuries forced them to recall Isak Rosen, Jiri Kulich, Brandon Biro, Ryan Johnson, Lukas Rousek, and Brett Murray, and the revolving door seemed to be endless. While we don’t know if early season injury woes will strike this team again, we do know that top prospects like Rosen and Kulich are closer to being “NHL-ready,” especially since they had gotten an early taste of the big league this season. 

We also know the team should remain intact, with hopefully an impact player coming in from another organization either via trade or free agency. Even without a potential upgrade, the big club being another year older gives us more room for optimism. 

This young team has now seen what it’s like to score big but miss the playoffs, along with seeing far better performances in the net despite the overall lack of goals scored. Their experiences over the past two seasons, plus reassurance that they’re finished getting younger, means this team will start finding solutions when things aren’t going their way - whether in the offensive or the defensive zone.