The Sabres HAVE to use this weekend off as a method to cleanse thier system of the first half of the season. If they get their act together quickly, they can climb right back in the playoff hunt.
After losing 12 of their last 14 games, they can climb to the 8 spot by THIS FRIDAY if they take care of their own business (at Tampa, florida and Atlanta) and things break right for a few other teams over the next 4 days.
Amazing... They can get to #8 AND still have games in hand. Here's my "back-of-the-napkin" figuring.
Here's a list of the games that matter and prefered winners. All of the outcomes below (with the exception of the Kings at Iles on Jan 31) are certainly plausible, if not probable.
Buffalo @ Tampa Bay - Buf
Ottawa @ N.Y. Islanders - Ott
N.Y. Rangers @ Carolina - Car
Washington @ Montreal - Mon
Pittsburgh @ Atlanta - Pit
Buffalo @ Florida - Buf
Montreal @ Washington - Mon
N.Y. Rangers @ Philadelphia - Phil
Los Angeles @ N.Y. Islanders - LA (eek!)
N.Y. Rangers @ New Jersey - NJ
Vancouver @ Florida - Van
Buffalo @ Atlanta - Buf
If these games go this way... here's how the standings would look on February 2.
Certainly possible. Keep the faith SabreNation!