It sure looks like the Buffalo Sabres season will be all about bottoming out and getting the top pick in the 2014 NHL draft. So how bad could they be in terms of an historical perspective. Could they end up with one of the worst seasons ever in NHL history?
The worst season belongs to the 1974-75 Washington Capitals who ended up with a mere 21 points but the Caps had a good excuse. They were an expansion team. Same story for the next worst point total which was 23, turned in by the 1992-93 Ottawa Senators. San Jose also had 23 points that season but the Sharks were in just their second season.
So who had the worst season by an established club since the NHL first expanded back in 1968? Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the 1989-1990 Quebec Nordiques. Coached by Michel Bergeron, the Nordiques amassed a grand total of 31 points with a record of 12-61-7. Good news Sabres fans. They have two more games on the schedule to pass that total of 31 points since back then the NHL had an 80 game season.
Quebec was last in the league in goals scored with 240 or an average of three per game. They were also the worst defensive team in the league giving up an average of just over five goals a game. Their main goalies were Greg Millen and Ron Tugnutt.
Those Nordiques had a better record than the Sabres after their first 12 games of the season at 3-8-1. But as the season wore on, the defeats came in bunches. Quebec had losing streaks of eight games on two ocassions and also had an 11 game skid.
The roster included former Sabre Tony Mckegney and 38 year old Guy Lafleur who had 12 goals and 34 points.
The roster also featured Peter Stastny who was second in scoring with 24 goals and 62 points and second year pro Joe Sakic. We probably should have guessed Sakic would be in the Hall of Fame some day based on that season when he somehow scored 39 goals and 102 points for one of the worst teams ever.
The Sabres, like the rest of their NHL brethren, feasted on Quebec that season, winning seven games and tying one.