2013-14 Season Preview – Buffalo Sabres



Regular Season:  Buffalo had a rough season, finishing 12th in the Eastern Conference, 7 points out of the playoffs.  The bright spot was the play of the top line, led by Thomas Vanek, but his injuries put a damper on that later in the season.  The low point of the season was the dismissal of long-time coach Lindy Ruff in the early-going.

Playoffs:  The Sabres missed the playoffs for the second straight year.

Apr 19, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres head coach Ron Rolston on the bench during the game against the New York Rangers at the First Niagara Center. Rangers beat the Sabres 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports


Out: F Nathan Gerbe, D Andrej Sekera,

In: D Jamie McBain, D Henrik Tallinder

Ready To Make The Jump:  C Mikhail Grigorenko


1.  Miller Time?Ryan Miller has gone from one of the best goalies in the league 3 seasons ago to almost an afterthought among the conversation of top NHL netminders.  It was questioned as to whether or not he would even be a Sabre at this point in time, but apparently Buffalo didn’t find the right deal.

2. Last Ride For Vanek?:  The Sabres top forward is entering the last season on his contract, and there were also rumors that he would no longer be a Sabre.  He is still one of the top offensive talents in the league, but I am not sure if he will still be a Sabre after the trade deadline.

3.  Rebuild:  The dealing of their captain at the trade deadline signified that the Sabres are set to rebuild and the lack of action at the opening of free agency signifies that they learned their lesson a couple of years ago and will perform the rebuild from within this time around, which will be a slower process but better in the long run.

PROGNOSIS:  The Sabres will get better in time, but it won’t happen overnight.  There are now some high quality prospects in the system, most notably on the back end.  However, I don’t think the Sabres will rush them to the NHL after what has happened to Tyler Myers since his rookie of the year season.

PREDICTION:  7th in Atlantic Division.

We will be previewing every NHL team ahead of Training Camp which for most teams will begin on Sept 11th.  As a twist, we will be unveiling our teams in reverse order to how I predict they will finish in the standings.  Here is the schedule (you can click on a team name to see the preview for that team):

Predicted FinishAtlanticMetropolitanCentralPacific
1Sept 9Sept 8Sept 7Sept 6
2Sept 5Sept 4Sept 3Sept 2
3Sept 1Aug 31Aug 30Aug 29
4Aug 28Aug 27Aug 26Aug 25
5Aug 24Aug 23Aug 22Aug 21
6Aug 20Aug 19Aug 18Aug 17
7SabresBlue JacketsStarsFlames