Time is now for a push

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:

 TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
P8258-18-6122
X8254-21-7115
X8251-23-8110
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
Y8254-20-8116
X8252-24-6110
X8246-25-11103
Wild Card Leaders:
X8251-26-5107
X8244-26-12100
------------------------------------
8237-35-1084
8237-38-781
8232-39-1175
8232-40-1074
8233-42-773
8227-46-963
8225-46-1161
8222-49-1155
Central Division Leaders:
Z8256-19-7119
X8253-22-7113
X8249-22-11109
Pacific Division Leaders:
Y8250-21-11111
X8249-27-6104
X8244-27-1199
Wild Card Leaders:
X8246-30-698
X8245-30-797
------------------------------------
8243-31-894
8240-30-1292
8239-32-1189
8232-37-1377
8231-37-1476
8228-42-1268
SEATTLE8227-49-660
8225-50-757

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.

Kevin Freiheit
Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
[td_block_social_counter facebook="BuffaloHockeyCentral" twitter="BHCdotcom" custom_title="Follow BHC:" header_color="#002654" open_in_new_window="y"]