If the Sabres season has you thinking more and more about the 2014 draft, here's an update on the race for the top picks.
The Sabres have the fewest points in the NHL with 36 after 52 games. Edmonton is next with 42 points but Buffalo has played four fewer games than the Oilers. Calgary has the third worst total with 45 points. The Flames have played one more game than the Sabres.
Keep in mind there is a draft lottery so finishing with the worst record doesn't guarantee the number one selection but it means you have the best odds, a 25% chance, of getting the first choice.
The Sabres have 30 games left including tonight. 12 will be at home and 18 are on the road. The road has been extremely unkind to the Blue and Gold this season with a 5-15-3 record following the loss in Pittsburgh. The Sabres have won only two road games in regulation this season, beating Florida and Columbus.
They'll be packing hopping on a plane and sleeping in a hotel quite often in March when 10 of the 14 games will be on the road. There's a three game trip to Dallas, Tampa and Florida in the first week. From March 18th-27th, Buffalo will swing through Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal and Nashville.
In addition to playing the Flames and Oilers out west, the Sabres will host Edmonton on February 3rd so they will have three head to head match ups against the two teams fighting it out for those top three draft spots.
Buffalo will have six more sets of back to back games while Calgary has four and Edmonton has three.
Out of the 26 remaining games for the Oilers, 15 will be on home ice including 10 of their final 13 games of the season. 11 of the 26 games will be played against fellow Pacific Division teams which could lead to quite a few losses since Edmonton's record inside their division is an unsightly 4-11-3. Edmonton has an odd schedule over the last two plus months of the season. Beginning February first, the Oilers will play 4 straight road games followed by 5 straight at home. Then they have a four game road trip, a six game home stand, three in a row on the road and they'll close out with four straight in Edmonton.
Calgary has 29 games left with 14 at home and 15 on the road. 17 of the 30 will come against Western Conference teams against whom the Flames have struggled. Calgary is .500 against Eastern teams but just 11-19-3 versus Western competition. Calgary still has a five game Eastern swing that will take them to Ottawa, Toronto, Tampa, Florida and New Jersey. Edmonton and Calgary will face each other two more times.
If the players think ok lets just play to lose. Get your bags pack because you will not be here next season. these lasted games are gong to show ted,pat. and the gm just how much you want to be a sabre. because if you slack up on any giving night. Well good luck to you on your new team. that is if anybody wants to pick you up. Better play to win
Please please Sabres....
keep on tanking!! Really the only hope this franchise has is to be last this season and next and hopefully grab the next nhl jedi-to-be McDavid. If they dont score him except many more years of inept hockey.
the buffalo curse...
even if we end up with the fewest points, knowing buffalo's luck (or total lack thereof), we'll still probably lose the lottery. that's why i say do all that you can to improve this team immediately by any means possible, rather than tank the remainder of this season and next.
Find an alternate method to build a team other than banking on the top pick
Boston's model and LA's model is what the Sabres should be following. It's more the fool proof way to build a team rather than Chicago or Pittsburgh which are the rare exceptions to the rule. Yes sometimes you get the greatest of players like those teams did. More often than not though you end up like Edmonton when you pin your hopes on drafting high and being a top contender is never realized because other teams are smarter and more saavy than you. For the Sabres to have any flicker of hope in becoming a contending team again relatively soon it's going to require saavy trades, FA signings and drafting "diamond in the rough" quality players in the mid-late 1st round and beyond. Yes if you have a shot at the top pick you can get a superstar from time to time...but to think or believe that you will get a superstar everytime you draft at the top is just complete and utter rubbish.
Another dumb article
This coming draft isn't platinum. I don't know what cloud you clowns are on being so excited that the Sabres are embarrassing. For you're sake Howard, I hope the Sabres lose the lottery for the first overall pick being the worst team in the league. None of them are superstar caliber so It wouldn't matter. You guys kill me at the station with with all the dribble you all write. Jeremy's fantasy of getting McDavid in next years draft kills me even more. IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. You Guys are embarrassing yourselves.
Have another bag of potato chips Howard
A 25% chance...
I wish the odds were better if the Sabres finish last. I remember when the Flyers finished last and then proceeded to draft second after losing the lottery pick to Chicago. As a result the Flyers lost Patrick Kane, and drafted second, picking James vanRiemsdyk, who is no longer with the team.
SABRES SHOULD GET THEIR MAN
IF THE EDMONTON OILERS GET THE TOP PICK IN THIS YEARS DRAFT DUE TO THE LOTTERY & THE SABRES ARE AWARDED THE 2ND PICK, WE SHOULD STILL GET TO CHOOSE OUR MAN AS THE BEST FORWARD IN THIS YEARS DRAFT. THE OLIERS ARE VERY DESPERATE FOR A TOP 1 & 2 DEFENSEMAN & EKBLAD IS THEIR MAN. CALGARY PICKING BEFORE US WOULD BE SELECTING THE TYPE OF PLAYER WE WOULD, ALSO WANT, BUT BEING IN THE TOP THREE, GETS YOU A HIGHLY SKILLED PLAYER ANYWAY YOU LOOK AT IT. AS FOR NEXT YEARS CONNER McDAVID DRAFT, THE ONLY PLAYER THAT VERY WELL COULD PREVENT US FROM BEING IN THE TOP THREE LOTTERY IS RYAN MILLER. LAST YEAR RYAN`S GREAT PLAY (ESPECIALLY IN OVER TIME) KEPT US 12 TO 15 POINTS HIGHER IN THE STANDINGS THAN WITH OUT HIM. KEEPING RYAN MILLER BY SIGNING HIM TO A NEW CONTRACT STOPS ANY CHANCE OF A TOP 3 PICK IN 2015
C'mon Ted...put in Pys-off, Larsson, Grigorenko and Luke Adam: we need a loss!
I do like Varone, he's got that special LACK of something that makes you think of Kevin Porter out there when he's wandering aimlessly on the ice. But I need more. I need the complete cluelessness of Grigorenko and the vague "duh" of Larsson coupled with the lack of talent and denseness of Luke Adam. Throw in Pysyk's completely dull hockey style and even Ryan Miller will give up! Ok, Teddy boy throw 'em what ya got and start that Rob Ray "everything's going great out there" coaching style and we can lock up the next three top two picks!
Howie ? you and your sidekick is the morning have to be the worst sort of fan- you both actually must live your lives like you want the Sabres to lose? Real athletes always play to win- to want a team to lose is not normal? maybe both of you should findpeace in other careers? like professional boil poppers? or recycling athletic supporters
waste of time
losing on purpose is bullcrap. look at oilers they had how many high picks and they arent very close to being contender with the right trades and picks they should be able to stay competitive and rebuild. i hope we dont have another year like this tanking on purpose is not fair to fans.especially to fans like myself that have been watching this team for almost 40 yrs
Since This Is Buffalo
I am expecting the worst to happen even after this insufferable season we are being forced to sit through for the number one pick in the draft. I can't say for sure what will go wrong, but I know something will
Saw Sam Last Week in Erie
While the Frontenacs dealt Erie their first regulation loss this season, Bennett had an off game and was not a factor. Given there is a 3-in-4 chance of not getting him I find tanking to finish last an insult to those who purchased tickets. McDavid is head-and-shoulders more talented, He reminds me of a rookie named Perreault, only quicker (yes I was there). So do we run-for-the-bus for the next 14 months???
Waste of time
Why did you waste your time writing this article? All it did was run down the schedule. Who cares ????
follow boston-la model
build your team thru trades draft and free agency. you get the right players here and others will want to come here. its just not good to lose on purpose. what kinda message is that to send to our young players to lose for a pick