With 8 games left on the regular season schedule, the Sabres remain in reach of a playoff spot.
As the season winds down, things will get much more technical and, quite frankly, ugly. (Exhibit A– last year’s playoff math.)
For now, let’s establish the basics (utilizing maximum points each team can conceivably earn) heading into the games of April 11.
Replace one of the teams currently in top 8.
4/11 #4 Montreal
4/13 #11 Philadelphia
4/14 #12 Tampa Bay
4/17 at #2 Boston
4/19 #8 NY Rangers
4/20 at #1 Pittsburgh
4/22 #9 Winnipeg
4/26 #7 NY Islanders
Sabres can’t catch Pittsburgh, Boston, or Montreal. They also can’t take a playoff spot from the Southeast Division winner (currently Washington but possibly Tampa Bay.) This leaves Toronto, Ottawa, NY Islanders, and NY Rangers as “replaceable” teams.
- Rangers (max out at 60 points to Sabres 54) face Sabres on 4/19.
- Islanders (max out at 60) face Sabres in regular season finale on 4/26.
- Senators (max out at 62)
- Leafs (max out at 65)
- Jets (max out at 56) face Sabres on 4/22. Could pass Capitals and bring them into the equation.
- Devils (max out at 56)
- Lightning (max out at 54 but hold tiebreaker over Sabres.)
- Flyers (max out at 55 points) face Sabres on 4/13.
THINGS WE LIKE:
- Wins by Sabres- preferably in regulation.
- Losses by Rangers, Islanders, Senators, and Leafs and (to a lesser extent) Jets, Devils, Lightning, Flyers, and Capitals.
- Playoff hockey.
THINGS WE HATE:
- Overtime. Regulation decisions limit total point pool to 2. OT bumps it to 3. No good.
- Having to do this every year.
- Missing the playoffs.
BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOMES TONIGHT:
- Sabres beat Canadiens in regulation
- Bruins beat Islanders in regulation
- Penguins beat Lightning in regulation
- Hurricanes beat Capitals in regulation
- Senators at Flyers– could go either way on this game but most importantly– NO OVERTIME