This year is supposed to be different. This year, the Sabres should push the envelope and make it to the playoffs. This year, the Sabres will get out of the cellar, and take the big leap.
Yeah you get it, everyone’s expectations of the Sabres were extremely high this year. Adding Kyle Okposo, Kulikov, along with our already stellar stable of young talent., Buffalo was supposed to put the last 3 LONG years behind them.
A lot of Sabres fans were devastated when news broke this afternoon, of Jack’s injury. Rightfully so… Jack had a really good year for a rookie, on a team that finished 23rd and was 15 points shy of the final wildcard spot. Jack had a lot of highlight reel goals that made fans very excited for the future in Buffalo. The video of the injury is below, if you live under a rock and missed it.
VIDEO: Jack Eichel suffers high ankle sprain at practice. You can hear him yell, then arena goes quiet. Team says no recovery timetable yet. pic.twitter.com/t4OBtP9aD8
— Tom Martin (@4TomMartin) October 12, 2016
Before Sabres fans jump off the ledge for this year, keep in mind that this team isn’t only Jack Eichel. They do have another center in Sam Reinhart, that maybe better than Jack overall (right now). The talent besides Jack isn’t Stanley Cup caliber, but the team isn’t going to fall back to the Sabres of 2 and 3 years ago, where tank talk is brought back to life. Let’s not forget about our coaching staff, that won’t let this team be deflated with Jack missing time.
Not many experts were giving the Sabres a chance to make the playoffs this year, which is still surprising.
Sabres fans are hoping the tank was worthwhile, as it was a painful rebuild. Muttering the reminder Edmonton’s continuous spot of number 1 selection in the draft, is definitely a cause for concern, but by no means is a guarantee Buffalo is going down the same path.
Is it too crazy to still expect the Sabres to make the playoffs? As much as we all want the suffering to be over, we still might be one more year away. The Sabres should be on the playoff bubble, having fans watching the standings, but I don’t expect them to make the leap this year.
Lehner is still not a lock to be the goalie they need, and the blueline makes me worried. Tim Murray is doing a great job at bringing players to the city, even with negative opinion surrounding the Tank Sabres.
Unfortunately I just don’t see the Sabres in the playoffs, but they will definitely be close. I expect around 90 points this year, and pushing low 40’s for the win column. Let’s hope Jack can make a quick recovery, and our offense doesn’t miss him too much.