BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Sabres’ current seven-game losing streak has dropped them to the bottom of the NHL standings and all but assured the team will miss the playoffs for a 10th straight season, tying a league record.
A year that began with promise fell apart quickly and appears destined to be discarded to the trash heap, along with the last decade of Sabres hockey. But now, thanks to a handful of injuries, snakebitten scorers and an outbreak of COVID-19 within the team, the Sabres are even at risk of winning fewer games than their cross-town counterparts that play the shortest schedule in American professional sports.
With just six wins through 23 games, the Sabres (6-14-3) are on pace for 14.6 wins through the pandemic-shortened 56-game season. The Buffalo Bills, meanwhile, won 15 games this past season en route to an AFC Championship appearance.
An optimist would say things have to turn around for the Sabres soon. The puck has to start finding the back of the net eventually. Captain Jack Eichel has been playing through an injury. Starting goaltender Linus Ullmark could return by the end of the month. The youngsters have showed some promise. They could add someone in a trade. And besides, Jeff Skinner even scored a goal — anything is possible.
A pessimist would say we’ve been hearing that kind of talk for a month now. Plus, the Sabres haven’t even played a game against Pittsburgh or Boston yet.
But for now, the Sabres’ .326 points percentage would stand as the second-lowest in franchise history — on par with the “tank” season that brought Jack Eichel to Buffalo and was supposed to stop things like this from happening.