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:
4228-9-561
4328-10-561
3825-10-353
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
4227-11-458
4126-10-557
3827-9-256
Wild Card Leaders:
4223-10-955
3824-12-250
------------------------------------
4218-18-642
3918-20-137
4015-20-535
3414-14-634
4113-20-834
4113-21-733
3512-20-327
408-25-723
Central Division Leaders:
3928-8-359
4125-11-555
4326-14-355
Pacific Division Leaders:
4124-15-250
4221-16-547
4320-16-747
Wild Card Leaders:
3724-10-351
4221-19-244
------------------------------------
3618-12-642
3820-16-242
3817-14-741
3719-16-240
4118-19-440
4115-19-737
Seattle4113-24-430
4010-26-424

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
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.
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