It would be unwise for the Buffalo Sabres to underestimate the Sharks on Saturday

The Buffalo Sabres will once again face the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, but one of the NHL’s worst teams has been hot lately.

Jan 24, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Buffalo Sabres celebrate after a goal against the Los
Jan 24, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Buffalo Sabres celebrate after a goal against the Los / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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The Buffalo Sabres got their bounce back win on Wednesday night, but they remain four points under 0.500 and they have yet another golden opportunity to skate away with their second W in a row on Saturday. They are playing the San Jose Sharks, a team they had little trouble with nearly two weeks ago despite some out of sync play early.

However, the Sharks have played better hockey as of late, boasting a three-game winning streak and a 4-5-1 record in their last 10 games. Following their losses to the Ottawa Senators, Sabres, and the Chicago Blackhawks, they put up five goals in a win over the Anaheim Ducks, four against the Los Angeles Kings, and another trio in what was an upset over the New York Rangers. 

All of this has come following the Sharks losing 14 out of 15 contests dating back to mid-December, so it’s a sign that they are starting to come around. Even more alarming is the fact San Jose is yet another team to, despite their bad record, win three games in a row, something the Sabres have yet to accomplish this season.

Buffalo Sabres cannot underestimate the Sharks on Saturday

If the Sabres underestimate the Sharks, two things will happen: One, they will have botched an opportunity that could have at least kept the distance between them and the top wild card contenders reasonable. Two, they will have built no momentum for the post-All-Star Break, which will see them facing opponents like the Dallas Stars and the Florida Panthers in the first half of February.

The Sharks are still a bad hockey team that will be massive sellers at the 2024 trade deadline. However, they won’t be an easy opponent for the Buffalo Sabres considering their recent success. This is a team playing for respect at this point in the season, so regardless of the final score, expect a hard-fought game from San Jose. 

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(Information provided by Hockey-Reference)