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Time is now for a push

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After an exciting victory on Friday night against the Detroit Red Wings, the Sabres are right back at it tonight.

They begin a four game road trip, with the first stop being in Montreal. As we published at the beginning of 2017, the month of January will dictate the direction for the remainder of the season.

So far, the Sabres have gone 5-3-1 this month. The five wins are tied for the most in any month this season and they still have four games to play.

If they think their playoff hopes can become realistic, now is the time for them to come together and find a way to have a successful road trip.

They’ll face Montreal, Nashville, Dallas and Montreal once more in these next four games.

A quick look at the standings doesn’t look promising, but with the NHL’s point system, the Sabres are actually not that far out of it:

DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
A4531-11-365
A4426-10-860
A4725-17-555
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
M4628-14-460
M4424-12-856
M4726-18-355
Wild Card leaders:
M4624-17-553
M4825-20-353
-----------------------------------------
M4521-16-850
M4723-20-450
M4520-17-848
A4418-19-743
A4318-19-642
A4518-21-642
A4315-19-939
A4511-25-931

That’s five points out of a current playoff spot. A win against the Canadiens tonight could put Buffalo just three points out of a playoff spot. It might take some help from some other teams, but it’s certainly a possibility.

The bigger issue is that the Sabres have struggled to win multiple games in a row, and their longest actual winning streak is only three games.

Now without Jake McCabe, there’s even more stress on a defense without Dmitry Kulikov and Josh Gorges.

And after a strong performance from Anders Nilsson, can the goaltending hold steady?

It’s a crazy notion how quickly gaining four points in two nights could move you up the standings, but the Sabres could see it become a reality with a win tonight.

Fans haven’t seen playoffs in years and just getting involved in a battle for the last spot would create excitement. They’ve dropped important games already, but there’s still time to rectify it. They cannot keep wasting opportunities.

Developing some sort of consistency has been a problem all season long. We’ll see if they can get two points in Montreal tonight.

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NHL Standings

DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
A4531-11-365
A4426-10-860
A4725-17-555
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
M4628-14-460
M4424-12-856
M4726-18-355
Wild Card leaders:
M4624-17-553
M4825-20-353
-----------------------------------------
M4521-16-850
M4723-20-450
M4520-17-848
A4418-19-743
A4318-19-642
A4518-21-642
A4315-19-939
A4511-25-931
DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
C4427-11-660
C4626-13-759
C4828-17-359
Pacific Division Leaders:
P4530-11-464
P4424-14-654
P4525-16-454
Wild Card leaders:
C4726-17-456
C4425-16-353
-----------------------------------------
P4624-17-553
C4624-17-553
P4722-16-953
C4522-17-650
P4620-23-343
P4518-21-642
P4710-28-929