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Howard Simon's Blog

Breaking Down Sabres Schedule

One year ago at this time, I remember doing regular Inside The Numbers features on the Sabres remaining schedule and those of the teams around them as the fight for playoff spots went down the stretch.

Honestly I didn’t think I’d be doing it this season but as the calendar flips to the last full month of the regular season with the Sabres in the mix for the 8th and final spot, its time to find out how the schedule shapes up.

I’ll cover the big picture first.  The Sabres have 19 games left with 12 coming on the road and 7 at home.  Buffalo leads the league with the most sets of back to back games played this season but there are only three of those remaining after tonight.  They won’t get much of a break this month as Lindy Ruff’s crew will play 16 games in 31 days.

Now to the fight for the playoff spot.  Buffalo is 5 points away from 8th place Washington which has 69 points.  Winnipeg has 68, free falling Toronto is at 65 and Tampa Bay is tied with the Sabres at 64 points.  The Sabres have 5 games against the 4 teams just ahead of them in the standings but only one of them will be at First Niagara Center.  The April 3rd game with Toronto is part of a home and home set with the Leafs.  The games against the Caps, Jets and Lightning will all take place on the road.  The matchup at Winnipeg is on Monday and will be the finale of the current 4 game trip.

Buffalo will have 3 games against teams below them in the conference playing Carolina once and Montreal twice.  All of those games will be on home ice.  The Sabres also have 7 games against the teams that are currently in the top  7 in the East.  They’ll face Boston twice and have single meetings with the Rangers, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Florida and Ottawa.

In addition to San Jose tonight and Vancouver on Saturday there are 2 other games with Western Conference clubs.  Colorado and Minnesota will both pay a visit later this month.

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