It has been a very rough time for Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers fans alike over the last decade or so.
The Sabres have missed the playoffs for an NHL active record of nine consecutive seasons. They’ve finished last in their division five times out of those nine years. The last time they made the playoffs, Lindy Ruff was the coach. Since then, they’ve burned through head coaches Ron Rolston, Ted Nolan, Dan Bylsma, and Phil Housley. Now, Ralph Krueger has them off to an early, but impressive, start.
While the Oilers did hit the 100-point mark a few seasons ago, they’ve missed the playoffs 13 out of the last 14 years. All of that coming right after they lost in the Stanley Cup Final, which was nearly against Buffalo, but the Sabres dropped a heartbreaking Game 7.
15 years ago, Edmonton and Buffalo had excellent seasons, but with a couple of playoff series asides, it’s been a discouraging time to be a fan of either.
The 2015 NHL Entry Draft was supposed to really help both teams as each landed a generational talent. Edmonton won the lottery and got Connor McDavid and Buffalo, of course, got Jack Eichel.
Both players have been frustrated with their team’s lack of success, and are now entering their 5th season in the NHL. McDavid has had more individual success thus far:
Although the 2019-2020 season is very young, both players have their teams off to tremendous starts:
Eichel’s on another level this season pic.twitter.com/hywcmEiesK
— The Charging Buffalo (@TheChargingBUF) October 17, 2019
McDavid is leading the league in points with 17 already, and his teammate, Leon Draisaitl, is closest at 15.
That McDavid kid is pretty good!
A beauty for the @EdmontonOilers star. ⭐️
— #ThankYouDoc (@NHLonNBCSports) October 17, 2019
The two players will always be linked since they were drafted first and second overall the same season.
While McDavid has the advantage as far as points and playoff experience, it’d be great to see both of their teams have consistent success. It’s been too long and both fanbases have just been waiting for playoffs.
Buffalo and Edmonton will meet on December 8th and January 2nd, but fans of both teams would love for them to meet a few months after that.