Tyler Ennis will be a key for the Sabres this season.. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Season Preview - Buffalo Sabres

Last Season – With a 39-32-11 reocrd, the Sabres finished 9th in the East and missed the playoffs by 3 points.

Saying Goodbye – Derek Roy, Brad Boyes, Jochen Hecht

Saying Hello – Kevin Porter, Steve Ott, Adam Pardy, Mark Mancari, John Scott

Ready to Step In – Marcus Foligno had 13 points in 14 games for Buffalo last season.  The departure of Roy and Boyes opens up space on the top 2 lines for someone to step in, and Foligno could be that player.

Look For A Bounce-back Season From – Ville Leino had a disastrous season after signing a monster contract the previous summer.  Twenty-five points wasn’t enough for what his $11Million salary should have provided.  A repeat of that effort will result in a buyout at the end of the season.

Hardware Hopefuls – Foligno, Calder

Upside – The Sabres have depth in the net, although that could bring controversy as Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth have a bit of a competition for playing time.  The poor man’s version of the Luongo-Schneider battle in Vancouver.

Downside – The Sabres spent a lot of money last offseason without results.  They made more changes to key personnel this past summer, and a further flop could mean the end for Lindy Ruff in Buffalo.

 

2013 Prognosis – With a battle brewing for the last few playoff spots, and the improved Hurricanes on thier tail, the Sabres will be in tough to make the playoffs.  They will need excellent goaltending every night and some offense from unexpected sources to play beyond 48 games.

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