And with that, another playoff-less season is in the books. 6 times in 6 years, we have no playoff hockey in Buffalo – kind of burns, eh?
While it is the 6th straight playoff-less season in Buffalo, we’re truly only at the end of Year 2 of the Rebuild (Trust the Process™). It is very, very easy to get frustrated and I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t frustrated.
Heading into this season, fans (myself included) had pie-in-the-sky playoff hopes – and why not? The Sabres acquired Dmitry Kulikov to shore up the defense and a year of professional hockey under the belt of Jack Eichel was sure to help this team be better.
That is until they both got hurt prior to the season starting.
The major downfall of this Buffalo Sabres team has been consistency. Buffalo held around the playoff race until after the All-Star Break, when they inexplicably dropped back-to-back games to Colorado and Arizona.
Things stayed close for the Sabres but that back-to-back set the tone for a disappointing second half.
Not all is negative for the Buffalo Sabres though:
1. it appears that they’ve found two solid bottom six’ers in William Carrier and Evan Rodrigues.
2. Robin Lehner appears to somewhat be the real deal for the Sabres.
3. Jack Eichel ends the season 4 points shy of being a point-per-game player (57 points in 61 games).
4. Evander Kane is as good of a goal scorer as we all thought – 28 goals in 70 games.
- BBG: #G1000nta
The first season of Kyle Okposo was magnificent with the Buffalo Sabres. After 65 games, Okposo tallied 45 points (19 goals, 26 assists).
The scary part of this season was how Okposo’s season finished.
We still have no idea how Okposo is recovering following an undisclosed medical condition. The issue seemed pretty serious, with Okposo reportedly ending up in the ICU.
One has to think news will come out on Okposo’s condition as time passes.
- Player of the Week
Screw player of the week, let’s make it Player of the Year.
Are you surprised if I say Jack Eichel?
In 61 games this season, Eichel tallied 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists) after returning from his high-ankle sprain.
It’s not hard to imagine that a full season of Eichel would end up with a Buffalo Sabres playoff appearance but all that speculation is for naught at this point.
- Standings Update
The Buffalo Sabres finished the season 33-37-12 with 78 points. This ends up being a 4 point dropoff from last season, which is disappointing and damn near an abstract failure.
After high hopes ending last season strong, things ended up falling painfully flat this season.
Here’s to more hope again next year.
- The Good Tweets
Sabres finish in the Atlantic Division basement & 26th in the @NHL. 7.6% chance of winning the draft lottery & 23.5% chance of a top 3 pick.
— Dave Davis (@DaveDavisHockey) April 9, 2017
And just like that, our focus turns toward the offseason.
- Another Season in the Books
Another hockey season in the books at BLTD Sports – we couldn’t be any more appreciative of your continued support.
We couldn’t do this without you guys.
Thank y’all so much – we’ll see you next season.