As the NHL playoffs are approaching, many teams are still in playoff contention and are battling to move up in the rankings. 16 of the 30 teams will make the postseason, but is it better to be battling for one of the lower spots?
Sabres fans saw what happened during the President’s Trophy-winning season in 2006-2007. Although they had a great team, they were upset by the Ottawa Senators in five games in the Conference Finals.
Last season, the Sabres won the division, but were knocked off in the first round. Meanwhile, Philadelphia made the postseason because of a shootout win on the final day of the regular season and went on to the Stanley Cup Finals.
In 1999, when the Sabres lost to Dallas in the Finals, Buffalo did not finish high in the Conference. They went into the postseason as a No.7 seed.
Think about it. What did the Sabres do last season when they won the division? They sat in the top three of the Conference waiting for the playoffs to begin. They had secured a spot early on. While they were sitting happily at the top of the rankings, the teams on the bottom were already in playoff mode, battling for position.
When the playoffs came around in April, it was a surprise to many when the top three teams in the East were knocked out. It shouldn’t have been. The playoffs come and these teams are expected to automatically switch gears into playoff mode while the other teams have already done that a month ago.
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