Apr 13, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Torrey Mitchell (17) celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period against the New York Islanders at First Niagara Center. Islanders beat Buffalo 4 to 3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres – 2013-14 Season In Review


Welcome to our month-long series of team by team season recaps.  We will start from the bottom and work our way up the standings…so without further delay,

BUFFALO SABRES

 2013-14 SEASON

The Buffalo Sabres finished dead last in the league with a record of 21-51-10, for 52 points. They finished 8th in the Atlantic Division and 15th in the Eastern Conference, missing the playoffs by 41 points.

PRE-SEASON EXPECTATION

People knew it was going to be a down year as the Sabres were entering a rebuild stage after dealing some veterans at the previous trade deadline.  They were on a youth movement and a playoff spot would have been a miracle.

 

HIGHS

LOWS

  •  I’m not sure they expected to fall so deep this season.  This was their lowest point total in a non-lockout season since 1972-73
  • Not winning the draft lottery to have their pick of the 2014 draft crop. The Sabres will have the #2 pick
  • Traded away 2 captains this season, following the deal of one captain last season

 

 PROGNOSIS FOR NEXT SEASON

The Sabres will still be a very young team that will be on the outside looking in when playoff time comes around.  They could even be near the basement again, and will be in the Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel sweepstakes.  Being able to draft either one of the highly touted prospects would speed the rebuild.

 

5 QUESTIONS WITH SABRENOISE

We asked the editor of Sabrenoise.com, Tim Redinger a few questions about the Sabres season.  Here are his responses:

1)  What was the biggest surprise for your team?

Biggest surprise for the Buffalo Sabres was the emergence of Drew Stafford late in the season.  While his production normally picks up the second half of the season, many of his detractors are eagerly anticipating what will happen with Drew next season.  Emerging from the shadows of other leaders, it is almost as if Drew Stafford wants to remain in Buffalo and wants to be “the guy” something that he potentially was overpassed for based on more talented guys on the roster.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Stafford comes out next season wearing the “c” only to get traded away before the deadline unless the team resigns him long term.

2)  What was the biggest disappointment for your team?
The biggest disappointment had to be how the situation with Ryan Miller went down.  Everyone knew that his days were numbered, but it just seemed as if the team continued to jerk him around.  Was it Miller’s fault – no, the implosion of the front office led to the further souring of the situation.  The fact that so many top notch players on the Sabres, ok, not so many but Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller, who were icons in the Buffalo market – wanted so desperately to be out of Buffalo as quickly as possible.
3)   What is the biggest need going forward?
The biggest need going forward is leadership.  The team has a coach that can motivate and plenty of role players.  Surely the wise use of so many high draft picks will infuse talent onto the roster over the course of the next two seasons – but the team needs veteran leadership.  Especially someone who has been in the playoffs and understands how different the game is.  Letting the kids learn it on their own will put the Sabres on the same path as the Oilers and Islanders, hitting the proverbial reset button time and time again.
4)  Who was your team’s MVP this season?
It sounds cheeky but the teams fans have to be the MVP this season.  Especially those that remained faithful right until the end.  More importantly though give a collective nod to the goaltending core.  Ryan Miller, Jhonas Enroth, Nathan Lieuwen, Matt Hackett, Michal Neuvirth, all stood in the net and took a barrage of shots and hits, keeping the Sabres in many contests they had no right being in all year long.
5)  What #hashtag would you use to describe your team’s season or state of the team?
#rebuild or #implosion would be the best way to describe the team this year.
Thanks to Tim for taking the time to answer a few questions.

 

 

Tags: Nhl Team Recap Prospects Rebuild Ryan Miller Thomas Vanek Trades