The NHL Might Be the Reason the Sabres Missed the Playoffs
The Buffalo Sabres will miss the playoffs for a 12th consecutive season, which is the longest drought in the NHL and tied for the longest playoff drought in the four major sports (New York Jets).
However, the Sabres are clearly on the right track, as they just had their best regular season since the 2010-2011 campaign, which was the last playoff appearance. That was the last time the Sabres won 40 games, which was a streak that ended with this year's team.
The Sabres have one game left, which will be played tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. This is one of two games tonight, which will close out the NHL regular season. It was moved to April 14th, after being postponed because of the historic Christmas week blizzard in Western New York.
If Buffalo wins tonight, they will finish with 91 points. That will put them one point out of a playoff spot, which means all they had to do with win one more game this season...and they would have made the playoffs.
It's hard to not look back on that Hudson Fasching goal from early March.
On March 7th, the Sabres lost to the New York Islanders, 3-2. The game was tied in the third period, before Fasching scored.
The goal was originally disallowed by the on-ice official, but overturned by the NHL's war room, after they determined Fasching did not use a "distinct kicking motion" to redirect the puck into the net.
If that game goes to overtime and the Sabres win, along with a win vs. last-place Columbus tonight, Buffalo is in the playoffs and the Islanders would be out...
Ironically, the last goal ever scored on Craig Anderson was also a clear kick that the NHL ruled wasn't a kicking motion. The Sabres won last night's game, but the Fasching goal on March 7th is the reason Buffalo misses the postseason if they beat the Blue Jackets tonight...