Can Buffalo Perform Better?
The Sabres currently sit third in the Eastern Conference, although they are not far behind New Jersey for second, who they trail by just a point. Buffalo is well on its way to the playoffs, but some people don’t expect them to go very far.
Is there room for improvement on the Sabres team? Normally, a team that finishes third in the Conference would seem to be a good bet to go deep into the playoffs. This year, people have their eyes focused on Washington, Pittsburgh, and New Jersey in the East.
So how can the Sabres improve their game to compete with the top-caliber teams? The new playing style that Lindy Ruff utilized has worked this season with the Sabres and some fans are now saying that the team is over-achieving.
Over-achieving or not, the Sabres are a contender for the cup. They are on their way to locking up a Northeast Division title, and have Ryan Miller to lead them through the postseason. Miller leads the league in save percentage and is second in goals against.
The Sabres have allowed the 3rd fewest goals in the league, much thanks to Ryan Miller and the defense. Buffalo is also 3rd in the league in penalty killing. They are also fourth in the league when scoring first. Although the Sabres have only scored 215 goals this season, they have a plus-26 goal differential, which is second in the Conference, only behind Washington (+77).
A home ice advantage in the first couple of rounds might be the only thing that could help the Sabres improve. Buffalo is 24-10-6 at HSBC arena, where the Sabres have had a winning home record in each of the past 22 years.
I can understand that fans might want the team to improve, especially come playoff time. The playoffs bring a much more intense style of gameplay. While some players might step up, others may crack under pressure.
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