The Buffalo Sabres come into the All-Star break on a surprisingly good note, considering where they were even a few weeks ago. 8th place is in their reach, 6 points back with 3 games in hand on Atlanta, though before the year I’m certain most of us wouldn’t have pictured being happy about that but it’s what we have. Even though the team is rolling a bit over the last 13 games, the break comes at a good time for the health of guys like Stafford, Kaleta, Vanek, maybe Montador, and Miller who could use a rest.
The next game is February 4th against the Pens, and the 3 weeks after that leading to the trade deadline will tell the story. It *should* be possible for the Sabres to make up ground with multiple games against Toronto, along with games against Ottawa, Florida, the Isles (well…), and Atlanta (a great chance to help themselves). Get your points there, do some good work against the likes of Detroit, Washington and Tampa and see what happens.
The trade deadline is the thing, though, isn’t it? Despite Darcy Regier’s best efforts, it hasn’t been kind to the Sabres for several years. Heck, I’ve liked some of the guys picked up but, well, hear it from Darcy:
“One of the hard parts isn’t just finding good players but players that fit. That’s the challenge.”
I’m pondering the roster this year, and I’m not honestly sure what the move is. It’s easy to say they need scoring, but what team wouldn’t want that? Heck, who do you move? The ones we want to get rid of, nobody wants, and I think we generally like all of our prospects that we’ve gotten to see so far (even Byron scored, and Gerbe is on fire). I don’t envy Regier’s position this year, especially with the specter of ownership ‘changes’ hanging over.