Make It or Break It

After over a week off, the Sabres are finally back in action tonight against the Ottawa Senators. With 33 regular-season games to go, the Sabres find themselves 10 points out of a playoff spot. While teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers have taken hold of spots No. 2 and 3 in the division, the Sabres have their work cut out for them.


As it stands right now, the playoffs are very unlikely for Buffalo. If there was one part of their schedule that could give them a much-needed boost, it’s their next 10 games. The Charging Buffalo said it best with this tweet:

Many of those opponents are, well, not very good. I’m not saying the Sabres are, but a majority of those 10 games are very winnable. Also, nine of them are on home ice, where the Sabres have played much better compared to their poor 8-14-4 road record.

These next 10 games are absolutely huge if they want to have any chance at all at making a playoff push. Jeff Skinner is set to return to the lineup tonight, but he wasn’t performing too well before the injury. Victor Olofsson is expected back in the next week or so, too.


Record wise, over the final 33 games, going something like 20-9-4 over the remaining games would give them a 56% chance of making it, according to SportsClubStats. A 21st win bumps the percentage up to 87% and a 22nd win increases it well over 90%.

The big question is can this team win 20 of the final 33 games?


He’s been pretty quiet to this point, but with the Trade Deadline coming up in a month, Botterill could either help bring in some more scoring help or choose to build for the future. I think he will make a couple of moves, but that will depend on where this team is after the next two or three weeks.


The Sabres 51 points that they have is still five points fewer than they had at this point last season. So they’re technically behind last year’s horrid pace. As we know, last year’s team was about to enter a free fall around this time.

They have three regulation wins in the last four games and have a chance to build some momentum. It will take a big effort over the next 10 games, but if they can actually win eight or nine of them, this team could make a legitimate playoff push.


I don’t believe the Sabres are that good of a team, but I do think they will end up getting six wins over this 10-game stretch, maybe 6-3-1 or something similar.

Those results won’t be good enough to make a push, but that’s what I think they’ll do. Hopefully, they prove me wrong and can find a way to at least 16 of those 20 points. Then, we might actually have meaningful games entering March.

What do you think? How many points do they earn in this 10-game stretch?


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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