With the NHL playoff race getting down to the wire, we’ll be providing regular updates on each bubble team’s postseason push.
Bubble team: Buffalo Sabres
Where they stand: 9th in the East, tied with 8th-place Washington, but the Caps have a game in hand
Games remaining: 8
SportsClubStats.com says: 24.0% chance of making the playoffs
Why they’ll get in:
Clearly they’re a different team than the one we saw early on. The Sabres are 11-2-3 in their last 16 games, a stretch that’s included wins in San Jose, Vancouver and Ottawa. They’re also a lot healthier than they’ve been for most of the season. Back in January, owner Terry Pegula pinned the team’s poor performance on a “massive, catastrophic injury problem.” Maybe he had a point.
Why they won’t:
Games in New York (Rangers), Washington, Philadelphia and Boston, plus a home date against Pittsburgh. They’ve got the Leafs twice and the Wild once, but still – tough schedule.
“We’ve worked hard to get to this spot, but we don’t have anything. We know how tough the schedule is ahead of us. We can’t take a game for granted.” – coach Lindy Ruff
Biggest game coming up:
Friday at the Rangers