Monday, August 28, 2017

Buffalo Sabres 2017-18 season preview



                  With a promising core, the Buffalo Sabres failed to impress in 2016-17, finishing last in the Atlantic division with 78 points. But on the positive side, 20 year old sensation Jack Eichel broke out a little with 24 goals and 57 points. To improve their staff, the Sabres brought in hall-of-famer Phil Housley as their head coach. On the ice, the Sabres made more moves. Let's take a look at what they did.

                     Notable additions: RW Jason Pominville, LW Benoit Pouliot, C Jacob Josefon, F Seth Griffith, D Nathan Beaulieu, D Marco Scandella, G Chad Johnson.

                     Notable subtractions: RW Tyler Ennis, LW Marcus Foligno, RW Brian Gionta, F William Carrier, D Dmitry Kulikov, D Cody Franson, G Anders Nillson.

                                                Forwards
Here are my projected forward lines.

Evander Kane- Ryan O'Reilly - Kyle Okposo
Matt Moulson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Benoit Pouliot - Sean Malone - Jason Pominville
Nicolas Deslauriers - Jacob Josefson - Seth Griffith

The first line is really nice, especially if Kane can get things going. Eichel and Reinhart are both young, and getting to play with a vet in Moulson helps. The rookie Malone gets to center two vets, so that helps too. The fourth line is a grinder, Deslauriers, Josefson a nice 4th line center, and Griffith, who is small, but feisty. Johan Larsson and C.J. Smith are the extra forwards.


                                                  Defensemen
Here are my projected defensive pairs.

Marco Scandella - Rasmus Ristolainen
Nathan Beaulieu - Zach Bogosian
Jake McCabe - Victor Antipin

Ristolainen is a growing top-2 defenseman. Scandella, the new guy, is a nice top-4 defenseman. Same goes with Beaulieu and Bogosian. McCabe is a top-6 defenseman, and Antipin, the rookie, gets a chance at the NHL. Justin Falk, Taylor Fedun and Josh Gorges are the replacements.

                                                  Goalies

                                          Robin Lehner
                                          Chad Johnson

Lehner is still growing, and looking for a breakout season. Johnson has been with the team before, and is a solid backup.

                                                 Prediction

   The Sabres are still a growing team. I think that they will have a much better 2017-18, with 85 points, seven more than in 2016-17. But, they will finish just 7th in the Atlantic division, right behind sixth place. That means they will miss the playoffs. 

                                                 YouTube
     Also, check out my Youtube video preview for the Sabres

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