For the second straight season, we used EA’s NHL game for the PlayStation 4 and simulated the entire season to see where they had the Sabres finishing.
We loaded the Sabres roster into the system and let it run from there. Below are the simulated results for the 2017-18 season.
Final record: 39-33-10, 88 points
88 points had the Sabres finishing third in a surprisingly weak Atlantic Division, but it was enough to secure a playoff spot. We’ll get to what happened in the playoffs a little bit later, but for now, enjoy the fact that EA has the Sabres securing a division spot. EA had their own simulation earlier this fall and had the Buffalo Bills winning the AFC East.
Leading goal scorer: Ryan O’Reilly
O’Reilly led the team with 32 goals, a welcoming surprise as Buffalo had five 20-goal scorers (Matt Moulson was one of them?) Jason Pominville just fell shy with 19 goals.
Leading point scorer: Jack Eichel & Sam Reinhart
Eichel finished the season with 64 points, which may be a bit lower than fans can hope for. The good news is Reinhart was right up there with him, with a solid 49 assists.
How many goals does Jack Eichel score this season?
— BuffaloHockeyCentral (@BHCdotcom) October 1, 2017
Robin Lehner was pretty solid in goal for Buffalo and a big reason why they went to the playoffs. His 34 wins were helped by a .930 save percentage and a 2.46 GAA. Chad Johnson didn’t get many win, but still posted a .920 save percentage.
The Capitals scored a lot, and Nicklas Backstrom finished atop the league with 88 points. That’s a pretty low number for the top point-getter…
Ovechkin’s 53 goals were most in the league, and it wasn’t really close.
Things got interesting as the Sabres finally ended their playoff drought, but take a look how it all turned out:
The Sabres easily got by both Ottawa and the Islanders before getting swept by the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final. Of course, the Penguins lost just four games en route to their 3rd straight Stanley Cup.
Still, it’s important to remember that anything can happen in the playoffs, but getting there has been the issue.
Okposo led the Sabres with 15 points in the playoffs, and O’Reilly had the most goals with six.
Will the #Sabres make the playoffs this season?
— BuffaloHockeyCentral (@BHCdotcom) September 29, 2017
What do you think of EA’s simulation? Will the Sabres make the playoffs? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!
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January 1, 2018
Eastern Conference Standings: