At The Halfway Point, The Buffalo Sabres Are Both Terrible, And Terribly Exciting

41 games have been removed from the 2014-15 Sabres schedule. We’re halfway to the offseason, and at 14-24-3, everything is going as expected.

 

The team continues to hurtle towards last place, despite some heroic performances in net by Enroth in the month of December.  

The on ice performance of the team this season has been heroically terrible. Nolan’s apparent system to abandon possession in favor of blocking shots (assuming he actually has a choice with this patchwork roster of suspect vets and young skaters still finding their game) has gotten the team adequately riddled statistically and in the W-L column.

But again, this was all expected.

The good news is that those young guys are developing. Armia and Fasching are impressing, Zadorov and Ristolainen are looking fantastic, Pysyk is re-emerging, Grigorenko and Larsson are making the transition from the AHL to the NHL at a healthy, patient pace. Younger studs like Justin Bailey and Brendan Lemieux are carving out some serious numbers on their respective Jr. teams. Oh, and Sam Reinhart just became a Canadian superhero at the World Jrs.

From here, expect more of the same – losses, puck-bruised netminders, and steady improvement by the Fountain of Sabres Youth. It won’t be long before things like this…

 

…are replaced by things like this:  

We still have a ways to go (at least another 41 games), but the next generation of Sabres are coming on strong. It’s OK to be excited about where we are now. We’re heading in the right direction – back to the days of fantastic players, scary good games, and playoff-contending seasons.

For a team building through the draft, it’s all according to plan, and it’s becoming terribly exciting.

 

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