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Can we make the playoffs this year?


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Poll: Can we make the playoffs this year?

Do the Sabres have a chance of making the playoffs???

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#1 Sabre fan

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 11:53 AM

Okay, so we have improved somewhat, with some additions that do not seem too bad on paper. Our defense should be light years ahead of last year, and Howie should bring a fresh exciting system that should make for extra points compared to last year's under Disco Danny. Another year for our young guys is good too , so there seems reason to believe or hope we can compete for a playoff spot. 

 

Having said that, the Leafs seem poised to be good again, both the devils and Hurricane both keep adding and seem on the way up, while Philly surely can't be as bad as last year. Where exactly does that leave us? That does not leave too many weak teams in our conference and just getting to .500 hockey may not be so easy. What do you all think? Can we, will we, could we, or will we not be there at the end of the year? My thinking is we may get close but not so sure we'll be playing for Lord Stanley's Cup this year yet again. Hope I am wrong... 



#2 Sabres Fan In NS

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:02 PM

I have hope.  Hope is good.

 

Reality says that the roster has improved.  We have a new coach that will be instilling a new system, which will take time for the players to learn.  It will take time for it all to mesh together, which may be too long this coming season.

 

So, as of now I will predict a playoff cusp, but in the end I think they will fall just short (I hope I am wrong), which will be a great improvement over the last several years.

 

I will also say that I expect the Sabres to be 'in' most games and will play a far more entertaining style of hockey, which is important.



#3 ubkev

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 01:33 PM

I'd put us within 5 points of the last wild card spot.

#4 WildCard

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 01:46 PM

We better. Barring a catastrophic injury, I'm expecting it



#5 qwksndmonster

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 01:51 PM

Most of the reason we're making the playoffs this year was already on the roster last year. Growth from Eichel/Reinhart, and Hot Daniel's death.

#6 WildCard

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 01:59 PM

The good news is, Montreal should be worse...and that's about it for our division :lol:

 

Everyone else in our division will likely be better (Tampa, Florida), if not then as good in some cases (Boston, Toronto) 



#7 jsb

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 02:02 PM

Last year took too much out of me. New players, new coach, new philosophy, I'm guessing right about the time they start gelling it'll be too late. More exciting to watch no doubt, better defensively no doubt, bringing some joy back into my hockey life no doubt. Playoffs??? I'm not going to set myself up for disappointment again but I'm also guessing that sometime in October, I'll be full in again. Now.... no way



#8 We've

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 02:04 PM

Playoffs or else. As every season should be.

#9 Taro T

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 02:26 PM

The good news is, Montreal should be worse...and that's about it for our division :lol:
 
Everyone else in our division will likely be better (Tampa, Florida), if not then as good in some cases (Boston, Toronto)


Moe-ray-all & the Otters should take a step back & the Dead Things should be back in the city just due north of Canada.

Would expect a small step back from the B's & Loafs but wouldn't have money on either happening.

Sabres should've been there last year, so no reason they can't get there this year.

#10 pi2000

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 02:36 PM

I think they'll have a slow start as they learn Dr. Phil's Firewagon Hockey. Lehner will certainly face more odd-man breaks, and b-ways. Probably will be more fun to watch, but the problem is Lehner isn't Pekka Rinne, and that's going to be an issue with the firewagon brand of hockey.

Edited by pi2000, 03 July 2017 - 02:36 PM.


#11 Sabres79

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 02:53 PM

The subtraction of Disco and the Whiteboards (dibs on this one for my indie band name) should be worth a few points even before we start talking about improvements to the roster, which I don't think JBOT is done tinkering with yet anyway.

Playoffs, please.

#12 Thorny

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 03:09 PM

We better. Barring a catastrophic injury, I'm expecting it


Same here.

#13 7+6=13

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 08:22 PM

We had 60 combined games missed by our top 4 offensive players.  Injuries always happen but that's pretty hard to overcome.  I think if that number is cut in half, the additions and the new coaching - we should be a playoff team.  We look poised to be one of those teams that the rest of the league thinks comes from nowhere but we'll know it should have been closer to that all along.



#14 dudacek

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 09:24 PM

Yes

#15 GoPuckYourself

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 11:22 PM

I'm optimistic but realistic, on one hand I feel the coaching should be better, the players are a year mature, the defense should be much better and the realist side of me is saying although i love the Housley hire as HC, doesn't mean it will work out at all. Plus we've lost Ennis/Foligno/Gionta and Gained Pomminstein/Pouliot so that's a downgrade in my eyes. If the key players can stay healthy there's no reason we shouldn't make the playoffs, also , I'm not a Lehner fan, he'll really need to up his game this year because right now he's not a good enough playoff goalie to compete for a Cup imo.



#16 nucci

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 04:08 AM

They better....tired of losing teams in this city



#17 Scottysabres

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 05:44 AM

Yea, we can make the playoffs.
Will we?
That is up to the players and coaching staff.
I'm hopeful Housely and staff institute a system that really lets the players strengths shine. But I have confidence the talent on this team can destroy any opponent in the league if they commit to doing so.

#18 GASabresFan

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 08:05 AM

On paper the team is better. We are significantly better on defense assuming health (Scandella and Bogo), and adjustment to a new system and/or new league.

An improved D should lead to lower goals against and therefore a better chance to win games.

A healthy Eichel should add more offense, but the weak LW is very much a concern. Hopefully Pouliot gets back to his 35 pt form upgrading the LW offense beyond what Foligno gave. Losing Foligno's physical game might end up being a significant loss. We have swapped Gionta for Pommers which is a slight upgrade. We also need at least one kid to step up and replace/upgrade Carrier. Baptiste/Bailey/Fasching/ERod may never get a better chance to prove they are NHL players. Overall team speed is improved.

So can this team make the playoffs? It's going to be hard. Montreal is worse but still has Price. Boston's young and improving D should keep them in contention. Toronto's kids should continue to improve, but the signing of Marleau is pure stupid. Tampa gets a healthy Stamkos back and an improved D. Florida is still young, but losing a 30 goal scorer to expansion hurts. Detroit is not a contender, while Ottawa is. IMHO we are the 5th or 6th best team in our division on paper. I think TB, Tor, Bos & Ott and maybe Fl have more talent. To contend we need to outplay Mon, Fl and and at least one of TB, Tor, Bos and Ott. That's a lot to ask given our limited improvement up front.

#19 Sabres Fan In NS

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 08:12 AM

Has JBOT, or Gionta, actually said that he won't be back?



#20 dudacek

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 09:00 AM

Has JBOT, or Gionta, actually said that he won't be back?

No. Post July 1, according to JBot there remained some level of mutual interest.
Sabres could use one more wing. However, I think JBot would prefer a speedier player on the left side,

Edited by dudacek, 04 July 2017 - 09:00 AM.


#21 DirtDart

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 09:02 AM

On paper we have improved our D, Offensively we haven't changed, but they will have to improve our goal scoring and the PP should be top 10 again this year. If Lehner can have better sucess in the shoutout, I say yes, we will make the playoffs.

#22 We've

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 09:34 AM

No. Post July 1, according to JBot there remained some level of mutual interest.
Sabres could use one more wing. However, I think JBot would prefer a speedier player on the left side,


I never got the impression that Gionta has lost much speed. I felt that his speed was still an effective part of his game. He's lost some of his finishing ability. Maybe I'm wrong here?

#23 North Buffalo

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 09:45 AM

I never got the impression that Gionta has lost much speed. I felt that his speed was still an effective part of his game. He's lost some of his finishing ability. Maybe I'm wrong here?


Agreed, seems ok in corners but not scoring well.

#24 dudacek

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 09:51 AM

I never got the impression that Gionta has lost much speed. I felt that his speed was still an effective part of his game. He's lost some of his finishing ability. Maybe I'm wrong here?


I don't think his speed is a detriment.
I'm just going from Botterill's quote about wanting to add more speed up front.
I think he has an iron or two in the fire and he wants to see what happens there before returning to Gionta.

#25 grinreaper

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 10:29 AM

The secret is telling them at the beginning of the game that there are 8 minutes left and they are behind by 2 goals. Seriously, that team last year with their backs to the wall just dominated. That proves to me that the talent is there and that they were held back by coaching. When they were forced to open things up they were nearly always the better team.

#26 d4rksabre

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 10:30 AM

Has JBOT, or Gionta, actually said that he won't be back?


I've seen some reports (that have been missed due to the holiday) that indicate Gionta won't be back.

#27 Randall Flagg

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 11:12 AM

I think Gio's foot speed is what has kept him effective the past two years. Dude's in great shape

#28 bob_sauve28

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 12:25 PM

Do those of you that wanted--and got--a coaching change think that was enough to make us a playoff team?

#29 WildCard

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 12:34 PM

Do those of you that wanted--and got--a coaching change think that was enough to make us a playoff team?

Yes, and the complete overhaul of the defense along with depth signings has me believing we should. Last year was slightly different because the East looked so much worse. Now? East is looking a lot better than last summer

#30 Scottysabres

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 12:36 PM

Do those of you that wanted--and got--a coaching change think that was enough to make us a playoff team?


I wanted Dan gone, and yes, I believe the on ice strategy should improve enough to make the playoffs.

#31 Saratoga Sabres Fan

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 01:36 PM

Half the league makes the playoffs every year. Better coaching, improved defense and less injuries we'll be in.

#32 Tondas

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 04:05 PM

If we're keeping Kane, we better.



#33 3putt

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 05:09 PM

Any team can make the playoffs in any gjven year. Col and Clgy being recent examples of teams catching lightning in a bottle.  I am more interested in seeing if the long term development of a perennial cup contender is on course. 



#34 nucci

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 06:45 PM

Yea, we can make the playoffs.
Will we?
That is up to the players and coaching staff.
I'm hopeful Housely and staff institute a system that really lets the players strengths shine. But I have confidence the talent on this team can destroy any opponent in the league if they commit to doing so.

No kidding



#35 bobs0108

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 09:36 PM

I think we are in the running for a playoff spot, but a slow start do to a new coach costs us. Next year we will be a terror and maybe win the division.

#36 ShadowLiger

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 10:26 PM

There's no reason this team shouldn't make the playoffs. I expect nothing less.

#37 bunomatic

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 11:04 PM

We will be this years leafs. Last year they surprised many and had a good playoff experience for their young team. This season it will be the Sabres.

 

Book it.



#38 d4rksabre

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 11:09 PM

We will be this years leafs. Last year they surprised many and had a good playoff experience for their young team. This season it will be the Sabres.

Book it.


I think yes.

#39 Wyldnwoody44

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 12:14 AM

I wonder what happens when we are 17-31 around the halfway point, do we blame a new system, bad assembly, not "jellin"....

#40 drnkirishone

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 12:43 AM

We are going to win the division