Two losses in a row at home to Tampa Bay and New Jersey has pretty much sealed the Sabres fate for the year. They're 10 points out of a playoff spot with 26 games to go, a veritable mountain to climb.
Ted Black pretty much laid it out on WGR's Howard Simon Show this morning. As an organization they cannot come out and say the season is over. Not only would it hurt the team at the box office, but it will also hurt them as the trade deadline approaches.
The question posed to Black by Jeremy White was "how realistically" is the team approaching the deadline. The long preface included Black's "somber outlook" the previous week as well as Darcy Regier's intimations that a team outside of the top-eight in the league could win the Stanley Cup.
Here's what Black had to say (4:43 mark): "It would take a monumental effort for us to even make the playoffs, that's just the math, and not any kind of false hope or lack of hope."
Prior to that (3:30 mark) he alluded to which direction the team would be headed in the next week and a half. Of course, he prefaced it with "we're gonna do everything we can to win the Stanley Cup." then continued, "and to make this team a championship team. If that means we make moves that benefit us next year and the year after, and that opportunity presents itself, then I'm confident that's what Darcy's thinking about."
There you have it. Time to start looking towards next season and beyond. Which is something that fans have been doing since the tail end of the teams franchise record, 12-game road losing streak in January.