Ask TCB: Season Expectations

Photo via Detroit Free Press

It’s remarkable what the Sabres have been able to achieve so far this season. Look, this winning streak is fantastic and frankly, exactly what the people of Buffalo needed. Before I go any further, do one thing for me. Take a second and enjoy it. This has been a long time coming. The Sabres are fun again. The Sabres are good again.

So, with this remarkable run of nine straight wins, I asked some of the guys what they think the expectations should be for this season. The conversation that ensued was something I wanted to share to the TCB readers.

Here’s what the guys said:

@BuffaWallpapers: At this point anything lower than wild card is a big disappointment.

@wchristo_: I’d still say to just make the playoffs, off to a great start but we have been winning a lot of close games, I’m going to love to see how they bounce back after their next loss.

@JoeTCBNHL: 3rd in the division or one of the wild card spots. More likely a WC spot. Hate to say it but this isn’t sustainable for them yet.

If they were winning games in convincing fashion my opinion would be different but honestly most of these games could’ve gone either way.

@Sabres_Talk: I agree with everything that’s been said. I think they make a wildcard spot but I don’t think we can obviously keep up this pace.

@wchristo: Living in Toronto all my friends are like “it’s a great start but do you really think you’re gonna edge out Toronto and Tampa?” And I have to say I agree, those teams are too deep currently.

In any other division in the league I’d be confident that we’d be in the top 3 at the end but in this one I think we’re going to have to settle for a wild card (hope it’s WC1) and beat the metro winner.

I need to see how the next 10-15 games play out then I can say where we are as a team for the present (for the future I already know we’re trending way up).

@austin_broad: I’m with Joe,  I’m thinking 3rd in the Atlantic or a WC, they’ve been winning 1 goal games. When you look at their goal differential, they’re the outlier, but all that can change over the next stretch.

As you can see, the general consensus is the Sabres will make the playoffs this season. I will argue the Atlantic division is pushing the Central for the best division in hockey right now. With Tampa, Toronto, Boston, Buffalo and even Montreal, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that 5 Atlantic teams make the playoffs.

I say Monteral has a chance to make the playoffs because they’re currently in the second wildcard spot and Carey Price isn’t even over .900 save % right now (.897). If he can get his game back to his normal top goaltender in the NHL status, Montreal will hang around all year with a chance at a playoff berth. It will be tight and you have to expect Pittsburgh to snap out of their funk with players like Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and Letang leading the way.

Keep your eyes out for more as I’ll be putting together a recap of this historical run the Sabres are on. I’ll dive into what this means for the 2018-19 season and beyond.

Like I said, enjoy this Sabres fans. We all deserve a successful team. Same goes to Amerks fans, Rochester is still 1st in the North Division!

A new standard has been set in the Sabres organization and that standard is winning.

More reading – The Broad Statement: The Sabres are Back

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