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Where do the Sabres Stand Vs. the Rest of the East?

It seems there are about three tiers of teams in the Eastern Conference.  Which grouping do the Sabres belong in?  Not an easy question, but given Lindy Ruff's steady hand, and the recent bolstering of the roster they should be expected to be in the serious contenders group.  Let's look at how the Sabres stack up against the top tier teams in the east.

Best place to start is with the defending conference and world champion Boston Bruins.  These teams are similarly built: good defense corps , solid group of forwards with the real star being the goaltender.  On paper the Sabres have closed the gap by significantly upgrading the defense and adding skill...