2 Rare Things Just Happened to the Buffalo Sabres
Both things happened on the same night, during one of the team's latest wins.
The Buffalo Sabres have the longest playoff drought in NHL history. Sorry, Sabres fans, for that to be stated again, but it is relevant to this conversation. As you know the team is finally coming alive. They have a young, hungry roster with stars like Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, Alex Tuch, Owen Power, Jeff Skinner, Dylan Cozens, and up-and-coming players like Jack Quinn and J.J. Peterka. We're not even getting into the youth in Rochester and prospects like goaltender Devon Levi.
This season has been the most entertaining in a long time. The team has flirted with a playoff spot all year while scoring a LOT of goals. They also allow a lot of goals against them as well, making every game and the season the metaphorical roller coaster ride. Still, on any given night they can beat the best teams in the league and compete. That's all Sabres fans have really wanted for a long time: a competitive, fun team. We finally have it.
We also have a team in a playoff spot.
The 2 Rare Things That Just Happen to the Buffalo Sabres
1. For the first time in a decade, the Buffalo Sabres find themselves in a playoff spot. With their 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday (Feb. 24), the Sabres are in the 8th and final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race. They are tied in points with the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers, but hold tiebreakers over them. They passed both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals who are in slumps. What's even more exciting? The Sabres have played fewer games than several of the teams they are fighting for the wild card spots with, giving them the advantage in the long run.
2. The other really amazing thing that happened to the Sabres was goaltender Craig Anderson. He made a whopping 53 saves on 54 shots in Buffalo's 3-1 win over the Panthers Friday night. Now that's impressive for many reasons. It's rare for any goalie to face that many shots in regulation and make that many saves. It was also in front of his family and friends, as he lives near that arena. Also a fun fact it was his son's birthday which certainly motivated him. This, however, isn't what was rare about his performance. 41-year-old Craig Anderson became the OLDEST GOALIE in NHL History to make a 50+ save performance. That's an incredible accomplishment. It also comes as the team desperately needed a solid showing in net.
Will the Sabres end the playoff drought? Time will tell. Certainly, it's exciting times and fans welcome it. After all, we haven't had meaningful hockey this late in the season in, well, a decade. The NHL trade deadline is Friday, March 3, at 3:00 PM Eastern. It will be interesting to see if the Sabres make any moves.