Friday, February 24, 2017

Where Buffalo stands plus a look at the schedules for teams surrounding them

The Buffalo Sabres won't resume action until Saturday when they play a 10pm EST game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver. The following night they'll be in Arizona to take on the Coyotes before travelling back home to face off against the Nashville Predators. Those are Buffalo's last three games before the March 1 NHL Trade Deadline and their outcomes, along with those of the teams clumped around them in the playoff chase, will go a long way in determining what the Sabres will do at the trade deadline.

With Buffalo on their bye week having played 60 games and netting 62 points in the process, the rest of the teams are beginning to catch up with the number of games played. In the Atlantic Division only the Ottawa Senators have two games in hand, the rest are either even or have only one game in hand. And in the Eastern Conference wild card grouping the Carolina Hurricanes have four games in hand on the Sabres while every other team vying for that second wild card spot are even or have one game in hand.

By the time the Sabres hit the ice on Saturday, every team except Carolina will have caught up with or surpassed Buffalo in the number of games played.

That said, here is where the Sabres stand in the Atlantic Division (games played as of today):

Montreal (60) -- 72 pts.
Ottawa (58) -- 70
Toronto (59) -- 67
Florida (59) -- 66
Boston (60) -- 66
Tampa Bay (59) -- 62
Buffalo (60) -- 62
Detroit (60) -- 58

Here's how it looks in the race for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference:

NY Islanders (59) -- 66 pts.

Florida (59) -- 66
Boston (60) -- 66
Philadelphia (60) -- 63
Tampa Bay (59) -- 62
Buffalo (60) --62
New Jersey (60) -- 60
Detroit (60) -- 60
Carolina (56) -- 56

As mentioned, Buffalo has three games between now and the March 1 trade deadline, here's what's on tap for those around Buffalo between now and then (number of games) :

Montreal (4)--vs. NYI;  @ TOR;  @ NJD;  vs. CBJ
Ottawa (3)--@CAR;  @ FLA;  @ TBL
Toronto (3)--vs. NYR;  vs. MTL;  @ SJS
Florida (3)--vs. CGY;  vs. OTT;  vs. CAR
Boston (3)--@ LAK;  @ DAL;  vs. ARI
Tampa Bay (2)--vs. CGY;  vs. OTT
Detroit (1)--@ VAN

NY Islanders (2)--@ MTL;  vs, CBJ
Philadelphia (2)--@ PIT;  vs. COL
New Jersey (2)--vs. NYR;  vs. MTL
Carolina (2)--vs. OTT;  vs. CGY

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