There have been times this season that fans of the Buffalo Sabres were ready to give up on the season. After a recent hot streak, the optimism is back that this team can sneak into the playoffs and get hot at the right time. With just a little over a week left in the regular season, can the team be consistent enough to finish in the top eight?
Buffalo fans know this end of the season scenario all too well, enjoying a hot finish in 2011 before going through disappointment in 2012. Things appeared to possibly be different in 2013, but he we are right near the fringe.
Four games remain in the regular season, with two of them this weekend. The home matchup with the Rangers is practically a must win, especially since Pittsburgh awaits the following day. The best Buffalo can hope for is that they win out, and they also get some help from other teams losing. However, the bigger question right now is, what does the future hold for Buffalo going forward?
For starters, injuries have obviously taken a toll on this team. Losing Tyler Myers, Thomas Vanek and Ville Leino to injuries really hurt the team, and many fantasy hockey teams, and the team is simply not good enough to replace those guys and compete with the best. The coaching situation will need to be straightened out as well, as Ron Rolston still carries the interim tag. The finish to 2013 could play a big role in how the coaching situation plays out.
These next 10 days or so will clear a lot of things up for the franchise. If they can sneak into the playoffs, there is no telling how much damage they can do if they get hot. If they miss out yet again this season, changes are inevitable.